Tarique Anwar, BeyondHeadlines
New Delhi: It’s final now. The BJP accepted that it took Rs 11 lakhs from “apolitical” Baba Ramdev. Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, senior leader of the party, which has been in the denial mode over the issue since the BeyondHeadlines (BH) broke the story on March 8, accepted last night while talking to Aaj Tak that indeed BJP was a beneficiary of the Baba’s wealth.
The BH exclusive send tremors in the political circles after many mainstream newspapers and channels followed it. Both Star News and Aaj Tak ran half an hour special programmes on prime time on the politics of the “apolitical” Yoga guru. News papers like Dainik Bhaskar, Mail Today, Dainik Jagran – Madhya Pradesh edition, several Urdu news dailies as also many other channels too covered it, raising political pitch. Congress party MPs from Barely and Almora too have demanded lie detecting test of the yoga Guru.
Under immense political and media pressure the BJP has finally accepted the fact that indeed Patanjali Pvt. Ltd. donated the money.
It all started when the BeyondHeadlines sought detailed information regarding the funding to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India’s main opposition party, from the Election Commission (EC) of India under Article 24 (A) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Article 24 (A) of the RTI act says that if any political party receives fund more than Rs 20,000, it will have to furnish details of its funding. The EC said in the reply to the RTI query that on March 8, 2009 Baba Ramdev-owned Patanjali Ayurveda Kendra Pvt. Ltd. donated the BJP a bank Punjab National Bank cheque (cheque no. 859783) of Rs 11 lakhs. The BH is in possession of the document. This amount was donated just before the general elections in 2009.
When this fact was exposed and it became headlines of various news papers and channels, unrest erupted in the rival political party, Congress party, and finally, this forced the BJP to accept the fact. Interestingly, Baba Ramdev has not yet cleared his stand