Amid the raging controversy over the diversion of setting up of All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) to Kashmir valley, Union Minister of the State Jitendra Singh has now questioned the state government on the location of its establishment. The Minister of the state, putting the record straight, said that AIIMS was always meant for Jammu. Lambasting the current ruling government of PDP and BJP, the Minister said that a few ministers, including the Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh for deliberately sending out contradictory signals over the issue.
The Minister said that the demand for AIIMS has always been for Jammu, right from the beginning as there is a huge regional imbalance of health care services between Kashmir and Jammu. While addressing a public meeting in Kathua yesterday, the Minister said that the Central Government was approached by some of the party veterans with the demand to sanction an AIIMS for Jammu as it is one of the urgent requirements of the city. Earlier during the NDA rule when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and Sushma Swaraj was the Union Health Minister but the proposal was not carried forward during the following 10 years of the UPA rule. The sanctioning got unduly stalled and after February 28 this year, the Minister had thanked the Union Finance Minster Arun Jaitley for having sanctioned an AIIMS.
Lashing the political groups and parties who have been pleading for the cause of Jammu, criticizing the BJP, the Minister said that the people of Jammu needed to be made aware of the sequences of events over the last 40 years which has resulted in health care disparity, particularly by the NC and the Congress. He said that BJP and its associated organizations had been fighting for the cause of AIIMS in Jammu for the last 40 years and would not allow the upstarts or the new starters to hijack this demand.