Anti-Corruption

Govt Investigates Corruption Charges Against Ramdev, aide

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

New Delhi: Baba Ramdev’s close associate Acharya Balkrishna has been missing following the June 4 clash at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi. Sources say the government will probe the alleged fake passport Balkrishna holds. If the immigration department puts up a complaint, action will be taken against him.

The going is getting tough for Ramdev too, as the Government looks to probe his assets.

Swami Ramdev and his aide Balkrishna, (Courtesy: India Today)

From yoga guru to would be politician to business tycoon – the meteoric rise of Baba Ramdev and his yoga and ayurveda empire is now getting as much attention as his fight against corruption.

After being evicted from Delhi, Ramdev has gone back to Haridwar. But it looks like it’s not going to be an easy run for him anymore, as the government is hot on his trail.

Some of the details made available by government sources to CNN-IBN reveal a maze of companies that are run and maintained by Ramdev’s key men.

Over 200 businesses from broadcasting companies including Aastha TV to food parks are run by his trusted lieutenants Acharya Balkrishna and Mukta Anand. There are no specific charges against them that the finance ministry is looking at, but a detailed income tax survey is currently being done. Even Hindu spiritual leaders want Ramdev’s assets probed.

“Ramdev has a lot of land and assets worth crores. These should be probed as well,” said Puri shankaracharya Swami Adhokshjanand Tirtha.

Questions are also being asked about nationality of Balkrishna, who has mysteriously disappeared from public view after the midnight swoop at the Ramlila Maidan.

“Balkrishna is a Nepalese citizen. He committed a crime there and came to India. He also has a Nepalese passport,” said Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh.

If that isn’t enough, it now appears that Ramdev has run afoul of the US FDA. He has been denied permission to sell ayurveda products in the United States. The FDA has leveled allegations of misbranding, selling products that are either not listed or not approved.

The Health Ministry says it will scrutinise the drug business of Baba Ramdev.

“We will look at these issues separately once the dust settles down,” said Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

This is not the first brush with controversy for Ramdev. In January 2006 also, charges of land grab had surfaced. It had then reported that Ramdev’s Patanjali Yog Peeth had grabbed government land. Now the Roorkee SDM has confirmed a farm land grab of over 2.98 hectares.

Asked about allegations of land grab against the Divya Yog Trust in 2006, Acharya Balakrishna had reacted by saying, “Who are you to ask me…who do you think you are?”

Baba Ramdev’s fight against corruption has opened him to many charges and many inquiries into the meteoric rise of his business in the last eight years. The Rs 1100 crore yoga-to-medicine business empire is also facing charges of land grab. But an aggressive Government probe at this point could be seen as witch-hunt of a baba, who dared the Congress and made it quite uncomfortable for them.

 

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