AIIMS First in Jammu then in Valley: Singh


JAMMU: Union minister of state for the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Jitendra Singh reiterated on Thursday the BJP stand, saying the All-India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) will be established first in Jammu and then in the Kashmir Valley.

He said the saffron party will not allow anyone to mislead the people or hi-jack its issue.

Chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who is the patron of BJP’s coali-tion partner in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has repeat-edly been saying the single AIIMS hospital allocated to Jammu and Kashmir will be set up in the Valley. 

However, on Thursday, Jitendra Singh said, “An exercise in this regard has already started and I have spoken to finance minister Arun Jaitley also. An avoidable controversy has been created. We want to unite and not divide the people,” Jitendra Singh said at a press conference in Jammu.

The announcement for setting up AIIMS was made in the agenda-of-alliance of the BJP-PDP alliance. However, the issue, like many others in the recent weeks, has snowballed into a row with both PDP and BJP talking into different voices over it.

Jammu observed a complete shutdown twice over this issue, with warnings by the coordination committee spearheading the agitation to intensify pro-tests.

Jitendra Singh said the BJP and PDP, despite their ideological differences, formed the government after sidestepping on some core ideological issues. He added that the saffron party wouldn’t now allow the PDP to push its ideological agenda while continuing to be in alliance. 

FUNDS AS PER DEMAND: Singh claimed that New Delhi has not stopped funds for the J&K Government and it has been releasing the funds for flood victims in phased manner. “There is no dearth of funds. Central Government is releasing what is being demanded by the states. We are releasing funds for the flood victims of state in phased manner. If these funds have not reached to victims then it is worrisome and should be looked in-to,” he said.  

The Minister said that the Central Government has re-leased an amount of Rs. 134.30 Crore from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund till April 2015 for distribu-tion among the flood victims who have lost their kacha or pucca houses. He also said that the first installment of Central Contribution of State Disaster Relief Force for 2015-16, amounting to Rs 114.50 crore was also re-leased in April 2015.

Singh said from past one year, Modi led government has made its mark and this government has taken certain in-itiatives and measures to provide succor to the poor. “Modi is concerned and deeply interested in Jammu and Kashmir and that is why he frequently visited the State. Even during flood fury he arrived here to assess the situ-ation and as a matter of fact, our government will leave no stone unturned in dragging out the people of the state from the miseries. Central Government is committed to help State Government at all fronts,” he said.

ROUND THE YEAR YATRA: Responding to a question, Singh claimed that  according to geological report, Amarnath Yatra can be carried throughout the year. “Some people (Separatists) want to politicize this issue. It is a religious issue and it should not be politicized,” he added.

Replying to questions about reported distribution of relief cheques of Rs 32 and Rs 47 among the flood victims, Dr Singh said that distribution of funds is the responsibility of the State government and the Centre cannot keep an eye on all the minute details related to it. However, he said that it is a matter of concern and will certainly be looked into at the appropriate forum under the newly in-troduced system of Cooperative Federalism.

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