Softening its stance, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday said it had no objection to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) being set up in Bathinda.
"It's the chief minister prerogative (AIIMS lcoation)…The duty of the Centre is to sanction the project…The CM has to decide the location…We have no objection," Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Vijay Sampla told reporters here. Rajya Sabha MP and national vice president of the BJP Avinash Rai Khanna was also present at the press conference.
Earlier, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had announced that AIIMS would be set up in Ramidi village falling under Bolath assembly segment of Kapurthala district, which is a part of Hoshiarpur parliamentary segment that Sampla represents. The Kapurthala district administration had almost finalised the land for the premier health institution.
However, union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal's "unilateral announcement" that AIIMS would be set up in her Lok Sabha constituency Bathinda triggered a fresh rift between the two alliance partners that are loggerheads over many issues Reacting to Harsimrat's stand on the project, Sampla in a recent statement had urged the chief minister to intervene and end the controversy, taking sympathetic view of the issue.
On the other hand, Harsimrat has maintained that she had proposed AIIMS for Bathinda on merit.
"There is no major medical institution in the Malwa belt, particularly in the Bathinda-Mansa area. Doaba has a surfeit of such hospitalsm" Harsimrat had said in a recent press statement.