Khanduri asks Ramdev to name minister who demanded bribe

Former Uttarakhand chief minister BC Khanduri on Friday asked Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev to name the minister, who allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs two crore from him, and sought an independent probe into the charges.

Last Updated: Nov 19, 2010, 18:20 PM IST

Dehra Dun: Former Uttarakhand chief minister BC Khanduri on Friday asked Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev to name the minister, who allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs two crore from him, and sought an independent probe into the charges.

"Baba Ramdev should disclose the name of Uttarakhand minister, who sought bribe of Rs 2 cr from him as well as the name of the chief minister to whom he had complained in this regard?" Khanduri told reporters here.

Khanduri was reacting to reports coming in a section of media in which Baba Ramdev has been quoted as saying that an Uttarakhand minister had asked for Rs 2 cr as bribe from him two years ago and when he complained to the chief minister, he dismissed the matter stating that the minister should have demanded the money as donation and not as bribe.

Khanduri made it clear that Baba Ramdev never approached him with complaint of corruption against any minister of his cabinet during his tenure as chief minister between March 2007 and June 2009 and asked him to tell the date on which the bribe was demanded and also whether he had actually paid the amount.

He said clarifications from Baba Ramdev in this regard are very important as he quit as chief minister just 17 months ago and the incident could have happened during his tenure.

The former chief minister said if the matter had come to his notice, he would have removed the concerned minister and investigated the matter.

In this regard, Khanduri, who had to quit in the wake of BJP`s debacle in the Lok Sabha elections in 2009, said he had high regard for Baba Ramdev as he has been playing an
instrumental role in establishing the Indian culture through Yoga and launching tirade against corruption.

"Now I expect him to take his crusade against corruption forward and expose the corrupt people," he said.

Khanduri said he has always been against any kind of corruption and has taken stern action whenever any such thing came to his notice as Union Minister or chief minister.

Stating that continuous unearthing of scandals and scams in Uttarakhand are denting its image, Khanduri said the matter should be probed by a free and fair agency so that the truth could come out.

However, when asked, whether he has discussed the issue of bribe raised by Baba Ramdev with Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, he said there is no need of it.

PTI