The Uttar Pradesh government is likely to go the extra mile to transfer 86 acres of land allotted to one company of Baba Ramdev to another group entity in order to prevent his Patanjali Food and Herbal Park in Noida from moving out of the state.
The state BJP leaders blamed the “confusion” on the fact that the matter was being dealt at the bureaucratic level until Ramdev sent a request for land transfer to Yogi government three months ago. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has now intervened in the matter, and spoke to both Ramdev and his key aide Acharya Balkrishna on Tuesday night. The CM has directed that a proposal be brought before the state cabinet next Tuesday, to resolve the issue that prompted the yoga guru to threaten to pull his project out of UP.
Senior state government officials told ET on the condition of anonymity that only the state cabinet could take such a decision.
Any decision taken at the bureaucratic level to allow transfer of land to another group entity by way of a sub-lease could have triggered allegations of favouritism. Sub-lease of land has been a controversial issue in the past in the state on account of revenue loss.
Balkrishna had put out a tweet on Tuesday evening, saying Patanjali will shift the project out of the state, blaming this on the “sad attitude” of the state government.
He said the project would have brought hundreds of jobs and benefits to farmers.
The erstwhile Samajwadi Party government had allotted 455 acres of land to Ramdev’s company Patanajali Ayurved Pvt Ltd on November 2, 2016 at a 25% discount. On March 23,2018, Ramdev requested the Adityanath government to sublease 86 acre of the alloted land to a 99% Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called Patanjali Foods and Herbal Park Noida Pvt Ltd.
“The UP government was caught up in a technical issue. Everyone knows that both our companies are part of the same consortium. We have already invested crores in the food park and begun the construction,” Patanajali Group spokesperson Surendra Tijarwala said.
The CM has assured Baba Ramdev that all formalities and sanctions will come through and under no circumstances will this priority project be allowed to exit the state, he said. “We trust these assurances from the CM and hope the same will be fulfilled,” Tijarwala told ET.
“The MoU with Patanjali was signed by the previous government. Our government is committed to remove bottlenecks in the interest of the state,” UP BJP spokesman Chandra Mohan said.
Rakesh Tripathi, another BJP spokesperson in the state, said the matter was being dealt at the bureaucracy level so far and had not been taken up at the level of the chief minister till now. Apparently, the file was moving around in the law and other departments of the state as views were sought from various ministries. “There were some difficulties in the decision of the previous state government and the agreement drawn up by them.
As soon as the matter was brought to the attention of CM, he assured Baba Ramdev that UP will not let this project go out of the state. The matter will come up before the next cabinet meeting,” Tripathi said.