Facing Heat From Pro-Jammu Groups, BJP Now Promises AIIMS For Region

21 May 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Dinesh Manhotra

Jammu: Notwithstanding Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's confirmation last week that All India Institute of Medial Sciences (AIIMS) had been allocated for Kashmir, the BJP today asserted that AIIMS would be set in Jammu 'at any cost' and there was no question of shelving the dream project of creating an artificial lake on the Tawi. The BJP has adopted this aggressive posture on AIIMS after several social, political, religious and business organisations of the Jammu region announced a Joint Action Committee to take the fight to the streets. The committee has slammed the BJP for ignoring the interests of the Jammu region. With leaders of these organisations giving an ultimatum to the BJP to come clear on its stand on AIIMS, the party today officially demanded AIIMS for the Jammu region also. 'There is no question of depriving the Jammu region of AIIMS because this region requires this premier health institution', asserted BJP state president Jugal Kishore Sharma while interacting with mediapersons. On May 15, the Chief Minister had virtually ruled out AIIMS for Jammu. He had also announced that the artificial lake project over the Tawi was not feasible. Mufti's announcement on AIIMS and the artificial lake has stirred a controversy as various social, political, religious and business organisations led by the Bar Association Jammu (BAJ) have decided to launch an agitation over the 'discrimination' against the Jammu region. Fearing backlash over the two issues, the BJP had already stated that there was no question of shelving the lake project. Today, the BJP state president, who is the Lok Sabha member from Jammu-Poonch, along with Rajya Sabha member Shamsher Singh Manhas asserted that AIIMS would be set up at Jammu at any cost. 'AIIMS as well as the artificial lake project will be there for Jammu and there is no question of shelving these prestigious projects,' the BJP state president said in a bid to counter the aggressive campaign of the pro-Jammu groups. 'The Opposition is making a mountain out of a mole hill. The BJP stands committed to both the projects for Jammu'. He said the artificial lake project on the Tawi in Jammu had not been shelved. 'Funds were misused by the previous governments and we will hold an inquiry into it... We want to assure the people of Jammu that the project will be completed,' he said.