After asset scandal; now its cash-for-blessings row for Baba

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Baba Ramdev-Acharya Balkrishna
New Delhi, Jun 10: Hoping to come clean from the various accusations regarding his assets, Baba Ramdev had announced that he will make details of his assets public on Thursday. He indeed kept the promise, but did he hide more and reveal less on the topic that was playing hard in the public mind.

In an apparent step to silence his critics, the asset revelation has raised more eyebrows that ever before and with certain media reports digging more dirt against the Baba, there is a lot more for the Baba at stake.

The asset announcement was made by Ramdev's close-aide Acharya Balkrishna and declared that Baba Ramdev's empire was worth a whopping Rs 1177 crore. Balkrishna said, “We are taking this first step to respond to all the allegations that have been leveled against us by the government."

The Baba administration still claiming that they built the organisation with donations of supporters and followers, the fact remains that the very same assets are exempted from Income Tax. They, however did not give out details on the various companies and organisations floated under their names.

With the government hell-bent on tarnishing the Baba's image, Ramdev did not make an effort to clarify the land grab case that was alleged on him. Baba Ramdev's empire includes the Divyayoga Mandir Trust with a capital base of Rs 249.63 crores; the Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust worth Rs 164.80 crores; the Bharat Swabhiman Trust worth Rs 9.97 crores and the Acharya Kulumbh Siskhshan Sansthan with a capital base of Rs 1.69 crores.

But with recent allegations that claimed that Baba Ramdev charged insane money from followers to give them his blessings have created a dent in his image. According to reports that appeared on CNN-IBN, that quoted bewildered supporters who revealed that the Baba charged somewhere between Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 for blessings in close proximity of supporters and Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh if the fans want Baba to distribute prasad at their homes and a hefty tag of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 20 lakh if you want the Baba to stay in your home.

But with the sea of allegations mounting on Ramdev, the feud between the Baba and the government in getting more and more personal in nature and the real issue of corruption is only getting sidelined.

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