Centre Announces Similar AIIMS Like Facilities For Jammu, Kashmir

30 July 2015
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda today announced that the Centre Government will provide similar facilities of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to both Jammu and Kashmir regions. He gave this assurance to a delegation of BJP Ministers and leaders from the State led by Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh after second round of meeting with them in New Delhi this afternoon. The BJP delegation also had telephonic talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah and an hour long discussions with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley after which Nadda made an announcement. However, AIIMS Coordination Committee, which is spearheading the agitation for setting up of full-fledged AIIMS for Jammu and had given 72 hours bandh call from July 31, rejected the BJP assurance for similar AIIMS like facilities in Jammu and Kashmir on the ground that the BJP had given them written assurance of getting full-fledged AIIMS for Jammu and decided to go ahead with its bandh call, beginning tomorrow morning. In a statement posted on official website of Press Information Bureau (PIB) and two tweets, Nadda following a meeting with the BJP delegation in New Delhi stated that the Union Health Ministry is setting up an AIIMS in Jammu and Kashmir and will provide similar facilities of AIIMS in both Jammu and Kashmir regions. 'The NDA Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to provide healthcare facilities for all regions. And we are committed to balanced regional growth when it comes to healthcare facilities,' Nadda said in his statement. The statement came after Nadda met a delegation from Jammu and Kashmir comprising Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh, State BJP president and Lok Sabha MP from Jammu, Jugal Kishore Sharma, Health Minister Lal Singh and State BJP general secretary Narendra Singh, who called on him for second consecutive day today. The BJP delegation also met Jaitley, who had announced the AIIMS for Jammu and Kashmir in his budget speech in February this year, for about an hour in the Union capital and held detailed discussions with him on the agitation going on in Jammu following shifting of AIIMS to Kashmir by the State Government and need for two AIIMS in the State-one each for Jammu and Kashmir regions. Later, Dr Nirmal Singh spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah on telephone, both of whom agreed for conceding genuine demand of Jammu region and directed Nadda to address the issue. According to party sources, there was consensus among top BJP leaders that both regions of Jammu and Kashmir should get equal treatment-be it the AIIMS or any other issue. However, since the Parliament was in session, a formal announcement on detailed modalities for equal treatment to both regions of the State in setting up of the AIIMS, couldn't be announced outside. 'The details would be made public very shortly by the Union Health Ministry, most likely after conclusion of Monsoon session of the Parliament,' sources said, adding the Ministry would come out with a comprehensive document as to how would it meet the demand for similar facilities of AIIMS to both regions of Jammu and Kashmir. The document was expected after Monsoon session of Parliament. Meanwhile, sticking to its demand for separate AIIMS for Jammu, the AIIMC Coordination Committee has rejected the Centre's formula for AIIMS like facilities for the two regions and decided to go ahead with 72 hours bandh call in Jammu from tomorrow. The AIIMS CC announced its decision after a meeting at 7 pm after assessing the announcement made by Nadda. 'The BJP has yet again betrayed and cheated the people of Jammu region by saying that the Union Health Ministry has agreed to provide AIIMS-like facilities to Jammu region. It betrayed Jammu on March 1, 2015, when it overturned the February 28 decision of the Union Finance Minister that AIIMS will be established in Jammu and released the obnoxious agenda of alliance which said the AIIMS will be established in the Valley,' AIIMC CC chairman and Jammu High Court Bar Association president Abhinav Sharma said. He added that the 'mind-boggling decision' announced by the Union Health Minister has shocked the people of Jammu region. 'The BJP had cheated the people of Jammu region on June 18 by giving a false written commitment to the ACC that the BJP would obtain a proper order latest by July 20 sanctioning a full-fledged AIIMS for Jammu,' Sharma said and charged that the BJP had taken recourse to 'dirty politics' became clear on July 20, when the BJP failed to stand by its commitment. He announced that Jammu region would observe 72-hour-long bandh from July 31. Meanwhile, the leaders and activists of the Coordination Committee blocked Tawi bridge this evening soon after the BJP workers burst crackers celebrating sanction of AIIMS for Jammu. The AIIMS CC was of the view that there was nothing in the announcement and they blocked road to resent the celebrations disrupting vehicular movement. They also decided to go ahead with 72 hours bandh.