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Baba’s asset account just a sneak peek

india Updated: Jun 10, 2011 09:24 IST
yoga guru

Amid deteriorating health, fasting yoga guru Baba Ramdev on Thursday declared that the assets of the Patanjali Yogpeeth, Divya Yoga Mandir and two other trusts founded by him were worth Rs 426 crore.

His declaration at a press conference here was intended to silence detractors who have raised questions about his wealth but Ramdev and his aide Acharya Balkrishna — who controls the business empire — ducked questions seeking details of companies run by the trusts.

Balkrishna said the capital assets of the flagship Divya Yog Mandir were worth Rs 249.63 crore and those of Patanjali Yogpeeth R164.80 crore. He added that the assets of Bharat Swabhiman Trust amounted to Rs 9.97 crore and Acharyakul Shiksha Sansthan R1.79 crore.

Ramdev said, “Keeping with the commitment to transparency, being a responsible citizen and representative of crores of people, the assets and liabilities of the trusts have been posted on website” On profits earned by the trusts, Ramdev said the money was spent on public welfare.

When reporters asked for details of the companies run by the trusts, Balkrishna said, “Information can be obtained from the Registrar of Companies and the balance sheet is available under the Right to Information Act.”

On the overseas expansion of the trusts, Balkrishna said: “Patanjali Yogpeeth trust of the UK has hundreds of members and is run by their donations. The island of little Cumbrae in Scotland, worth nearly $2 million (R9 crore), was donated to Baba Ramdev by a resident of Glasgow, Sunita Poddar.”

Ramdev’s health worsened on the sixth day of his fast. On being persuaded by district officials, he had some fresh lime juice and honey. Haridwar chief medical officer Dr Yogesh Sharma said there was an urgent need to break his fast. Ramdev has lost 6.5kg since he began his fast on June 4 in Delhi and weighs 58.5kg now, Sharma said.

Asked if Ramdev would be force-fed, Haridwar district magistrate R Meenakshi Sundaram said, “Force-feeding has a negative connotation. We want to save the life of yoga guru since he has a large following. We will do anything to save him.”

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living Foundation, is expected to meet Ramdev on Friday to persuade him to break his fast while continuing his fight against corruption and black money.