The Panthers party on Wednesday protested the shifting of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to Kashmir from Jammu and blamed the BJP for the fiasco. The party activists joined by former MLAs Harshdev Singh and Balwant Mankotia staged a demonstration in Jammu on Wednesday.
Harshdev Singh said the BJP conceded to the demand of the PDP for setting up `1,600 crore project in Kashmir against the interest of the Jammu region.
He said AIIMS at Jammu was promised after the successive demands and even Union finance minister announced it in his budget speech but to the surprise of many it was later shifted to Kashmir.
"It's a despicable surrender by the BJP which has hurt the soul of the Jammu region. The BJP has not only shifted its ideological position but has bartered it for its paltry political interests," said Harshdev.
He said the people of Jammu who had given massive mandate to the BJP now feel humiliated and betrayed. He said the Centre should immediately sanction AIIMS in Jammu and if it is not done, the party would start an agitation.
Balwant Singh Mankotia said the then NDA government headed by PM
Atal Bihari Vajpayee had mooted the proposal for establishing the premier health institute in Jammu which was subsequently followed by laying the foundation stone for AIIMS in Jammu by the then Union health minister Sushma Swaraj.
"Kashmir already has SKIMS, so it is the Jammu region that needs AIIMS. The BJP has always advocated for ending the sense of discrimination against Jammu, but it has indulged in a worst ever 'political debauchery' with the PDP merely to share the power," said Mankotia.