Dehradun : There was a time when the Congress bent backwards to appease Swami Ramdev, specially during the tenure of Narain Dutt as chief minister of Uttarakhand and land was allotted to the Yoga Guru left and right in and around Haridwar.
He has now become a persona non grata and as many as 85 cases have been slapped on him by the present Congress government at the centre and the state.
While chief minister Vijay Bahuguna vehemently denies that there is any witch hunting or vindictiveness against Swami Ramdev for the latter’s tirade against the Congress party in general and Rahul and Sonia in particular, spokespersons of the yoga guru assert that the cases have been slapped against them because of political considerations and there is not an iota of truth in them.
They claim that law will take its own turn and espousing full confidence on the judiciary they claim that the cases will fall flat and the tirade against the Patanjali Yogpeeth that has been launched by the Congress governments, both at the centre and the state, and also against people associated with them will fall flat and they will come out clean in all of them.
Most of the cases have been lodged by the state revenue department and pertain to evasion of stamp duty and taxes. There are allegations that the organizations related to the Patanjai Yogpeeth and Swami Ramdev have evaded stamp duty to the tune of about Rs 10.50 crores. Interestingly the cases pertain not only to the various land deeds of the organization in Haridwar, but also in other places in the country, including Aurangabad.
Popular opinion in Haridwar is that the cases are being slapped against the yoga guru as he has come out openly in favour of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and has also declared that he will be opposing the Congress party in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections by openly canvassing in favour of the BJP at his ‘shivirs’ (yoga camps).