Baba Ramdev slams Sonia Gandhi, but all-praise for Congress CM
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Yoga guru Baba Ramdev may be involved in a court battle against the state government but he has avoided a confrontation with the chief minister, choosing instead to shower him with praise, but slammed Congress leader Sonia Gandhi for his travails.
The previous BJP government had leased Ramdev 96.3 bighas of prime land in Solan for his Patanjli Yogpeeth. Five days before the scheduled inauguration of an ayurveda OPD and a yoga shivir hall, the new government took over the property.
Ramdev's trust has gone to high court but the baba himself said in Solan, "It's Sonia Gandhi who is behind the cancellation of the lease. Raja Virbhadra Singh ji is a kind soul; he helped me organise my first yoga camp in Himachal during his earlier term and attended it too."
Virbhadra Singh has finally managed to give a ministerial post to Anil Sharma, son of former Union minister Sukh Ram. His detractors had made it difficult till the end. Only a week ago, they had got the move scuttled at the eleventh hour even after Raj Bhavan had distributed invitation cards. Virbhadra camped in Delhi for three days to get Sonia Gandhi to clear the appointment, aimed at mending fences with his bitter foe Sukh Ram. Sharma's entry comes ahead of a Lok Sabha bypoll in Mandi, for which a frontrunner is Virbhadra's wife Pratibha, a former MP. Sharma represents the assembly seat of Mandi, Sukh Ram wields his influence across the region, and any Congress candidate there will need his support.
Dhumal versus Shanta
Their party not longer rules but former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and veteran BJP leader Shanta Kumar remain at loggerheads. Dhumal believes he lost because of three reasons, each related to Shanta Kumar. Had Shanta supported him fully, allowed distribution of tickets according to his choice, and allowed him to carve new districts out of Kangra (Shanta's home district with 15 assembly constituencies), Dhumal has been saying in public, he would certainly have retained power. It is now that Dhumal has been having his way. He has managed to get three new organisational district units of the BJP formed in Kangra. That sows the seeds for Kangra's division in the future, or will at least allow the BJP to go to polls on this promise five years on — provided Shanta will stand for it.
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