J&K Congress asks BJP to explain stand on AIIMS issue

  • PTI, Jammu
  • Updated: Apr 25, 2015 18:44 IST

Jammu and Kashmir Congress unit on Saturday hit out at BJP for "betraying the people of Jammu region" and asked the party to explain their stand on the reported shifting of AIIMS to Kashmir.

"We castigate the BJP over its betrayal of Jammu people on various issues especially the setting up of AIIMS. They
have been exposed before the people of the region who gave them 25 seats," Ravinder Sharma, Chief Spokesman, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) said.

The leader also expressed his gratitude to the different groups who participated in the day-long bandh in Jammu
yesterday over the issue.

"Yesterday's bandh in BJP's heartland is an eye opener for the Centre and the coalition government in the state. The
bandh reflected the anger of people over the unholy alliance of BJP and PDP and its policy of surrender and taking their
electorate for granted," he told reporters.

Sharma said that Congress had questioned the government in State Legislature and launched a movement by holding
protests at all district headquarters including Raj Bhawan in Jammu on April 13, ever since the reports of shifting of
AIIMS, but BJP has maintained its "criminal silence" on the issue so far.

The party also refuted claims of "raking up regional discrimination" over the issue.

"Congress has made it abundantly clear both within the assembly and outside that we are for AIIMS, both for Kashmir
and Jammu, and possibly for Ladakh too. Where is the problem in demanding more than one AIIMS?," Congress Legislature party leader Rigzin Jora said.

"It is unfortunate that this is being made into a regional issue by some parochial forces. This country can surely afford an additional AIIMS or two for a state that has always been seen as the crown of India," he said.

Jora also cleared out that the demand for AIIMS in Jammu does not necessarily mean opposing one in Kashmir.

"The question of opposing AIIMS for Kashmir does not arise at all. In fact the Congress would request the Government of India to sanction one for Ladakh as well, given Ladakh's problem of accessibility and communication," he said.

"But if somebody or some forces feel that Jammu should not demand AIIMS, it only shows their mind-set and reflects
their attitude," the leader added.

After having deprived Jammu of chief ministership by BJP, equitable share in the cabinet and the power structure, Modi
government cannot afford to ignore the AIIMS demand, he said.

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