The Bold Voice of J&K

Lost promises?

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The promise of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for Jammu and Kashmir looks as if it has been confined to the files and caught in the web of time and bureaucracy. The ambiguity in policies has added to the confusion and hype has been created for the setting up of the institute. If Jammu feels it has been deceived by the PDP by taking it to Valley, the Agenda for Alliance, signed by PDP and BJP as part of government formation, too says the institute to be set up first in Valley. No where any institute of such eminence is set up on regional basis. This has been the irritant which the politicians tried to encash by raising the emotions of the people in Jammu and the strike which followed for a fortnight a year back. If it was Dr Jitendra Singh, MoS in the PMO and BJP MP from Udhampur, who delivered a speech thanking Finance Minister for announcing AIIMS for Jammu, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed after being sworn in as Chief Minister took shelter under  Agenda for Alliance, which said that Valley would get AIIMS and IIT and IIM for Jammu. Opposition Congress and National Conference too joined the controversy bandwagon at that time by promising which was not there. The polarisation was so visible at that time and only regional leaders were there to keep the issue going, whereas  Kashmir-based opposition parties kept a little far away so that not to harm their political future by aligning with a  cause  which will have no significance at home.  Throughout this period, the partner in governance BJP stuck to the stand saying that Atal Behari Vajpayee government had given an AIIMS to Jammu in 2003, and then health minister Sushma Swaraj had laid its foundation stone, but successive Congress governments at the Centre and the state had converted it into a super-specialty hospital.  The agitation headed by AIIMS Coordination Committee, which was an amalgam of over 70 organisations, also saw two complete Bandhs against shifting of AIIMS to Valley. It appears that the BJP leaders have taken the people of Jammu for granted and have totally forgotten their election manifesto. It looks one more promise made for electoral gains is going to be in the category of lost promises.

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