Virbhadra Singh led Himachal Pradesh government has cancelled the land lease of yoga Guru Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth at Sadhupul in Solan district.

About 28 acres of land near Sadhupul was sanctioned to Patanjali Yogpeeth by the previous government in 2010 for a token lease of Rs 1 per year for a period of 99 years and Congress then in opposition had vehemently opposed the land lease.

The matter was reportedly discussed in a Cabinet meeting and a decision was reportedly taken to “cancel” the land lease. The land with estimated market value at Rs 30 to 35 crore was donated by the family of former Punjab Chief Minister Amrinder Singh in 1956 for setting up Indira holiday home for children.

Congress and Amrinder Singh had been demanding cancellation of land lease maintaining that the lease was sanctioned in violation of rules and norms and the government had transgressed its powers on the issue. The state cabinet reportedly termed the decision of previous BJP government as an undue favour to Ramdev besides it being illegal and beyond the power of the government.

State Revenue Minister Kaul Singh Thakur had earlier quoted that

“It was a highly illegal and unauthorised action of the BJP government and preliminary enquiry instituted by the government has proved that the land cannot be transferred for commercial purpose and the lease was signed in name of Archarya Balkrishan whose nationality was being probed by CBI,”

The move may cause a blow to Ramdev who is scheduled to arrive at Sadhupul on February 27 to inaugurate the first phase of the project. However, State in-charge of Bharatiya Swabhiman Trust, Lakshmi Dutt Sharma, said that he was not aware of any decision regarding cancellation of the land lease. He said that the Trust had already spent Rs 7.50 crore on construction of the first phase.