Published On : Sat, Sep 10th, 2016

Gadkari, Fadnavis try to come clean on Patanjali land row, Muttemwar sticks to his guns

Fadnavis, gadkari and Baba Ramdev in Patanjali Prog
Nagpur: Jolted by the pointed posers by former Union Minister Vilas Muttemwar over land allotment to Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Food and Herbal Park at MIHAN, the Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna tried to come clean over the issue at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Park here on Saturday.

Gadkari said that no concession or favouritism was accorded to Baba Ramdev and the land at MIHAN for Patanjali Food and Herbal Park was provided in accordance with the norms. “Government has not shown any gratitude to the Yoga Guru. The land is undeveloped and not even comes under Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The Chief Minister has followed the due procedure. Baba is neither a businessman nor industrialist. Whatever he has earned is returning to the country through Yoga, Ayurved, Education and the Society. The charge that Baba is being deliberately shown favouritism is baseless and politically motivated,” the Union Minister stated.

The Chief Minister Fadnavis, clearing the air, said that tenders for the land were floated thrice but Patanjali was the sole bidder as no other entities had shown interest in purchasing the land. “If only one company takes part in all the tendering process thrice then according to Central Vigilance Commissioner the tender can only to be allotted to that company. Patanjali has paid more money that the fixed rate. The land was provided to agriculture-based industry in industrial area is in accordance with the rules and regulations formulated by government appointed 4-member committee headed by Chief Secretary. Baba Ramdev has promised to change the condition of Vidarbha’s farmers,” the Chief Minister asserted.

Putting his side, Baba Ramdev said that he works honestly. “Nagpur being at the centre of the country geographically, the decision to set up the biggest food park at MIHAN was taken and the money was paid for it,” the Yoga Guru said. Acharya Balkrishna said that Patanjali followed all the norms for procuring the land. The land was taken from farmers but the farmers were not benefited. The charges are baseless. “We have today itself paid Rs 10 crore for the 60 acre land as per the rate fixed by government in SEZ area. The land we have purchased at the rate of Rs 25 lakh per acre is neither has water nor electricity nor road,” he said.

Muttemwar stands firm on his charges:
On the other hand, the former Union Minister Vilas Muttemwar has stuck to his charges he had leveled against the BJP Government on Friday. He termed the clarifications of Gadkari, Fadnavis and Patanjali as an eyewash and an attempt to mislead people. “The land provided to Patanjali is very much under MIHAN and taken from farmers for industrial development. The argument of undeveloped-developed is not sufficient and holds no water. When Baba can purchase the land at fixed rates then why the entire land was not purchased at the same rate? The BJP has developed its own “technology” or “technicalities” to favour Baba Ramdev,” Muttemwar thundered.