Baba Ramdev’s bid for land in Nepal runs into trouble

A section of the university administration opposed the move saying ‘university land’ can not be leased out to anyone for more than 10 years.

Written by Yubaraj Ghimire | Kathmandu | Updated: November 30, 2016 3:01 am
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Yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s bid to get nearly 134 hectare land for an Ayurveda college-cum-hospital in western Nepal’s Dang district has run into rough weather, and the matter has now been left to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to decide.

Nepal Sanskrit University in Dang, apparently had agreed to lease out a vast stretch of the land under its possession for 40 years, but before the deal was signed, a section of the university administration opposed the move saying ‘university land’ can not be leased out to anyone for more than 10 years.

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“The file now has been sent to the Prime Minister,” official sources said.

Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth, which is based in Haridwar, has been exploring the possibility of ‘herbal farming’ as well as buying rare herbs for his Ayurveda plants from Nepal, in collaboration with a private firm owned by a non-resident Nepali.

But this time around, it’s not only Ramdev who has landed in controversy over the deal. The names of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Dahal have also been dragged into the controversy due to their alleged proximity with the Yoga guru. Both had recently attended a function hosted by Ramdev’s prospective partner, Patanajali Yogpeeth Pvt Ltd, which is owned by businessman Upendra Mahato and his wife, Dr Samata Prasad.

After media came out with the story on Ramdev’s potential investment in Nepal, he issued a statement saying “so far all investment was done by Patanjali Yogpeeth Pvt Ltd of the Mahato couple.” “But once we invest, as we plan to do in future, that will be fully in adherence to the laws of the government of Nepal,” he said.