Jammu (IANS): The AIIMS sanctioned for the Kashmir Valley was originally meant for Jammu region, Minister of state in the PMO Dr Jitendra Singh said on Saturday.
Addressing a meeting of Bharatiya Janata Party workers at the newly-opened constituency office here, Dr Jitendra Singh said that right from the beginning, the demand for AIIMS was always raised for Jammu due to a regional imbalance of health care services between the Kashmir Valley and Jammu.
He said it was primarily with this motivation that the central government was approached by some BJP leaders.
Dr Jitendra Singh said the proposal for an AIIMS was earlier mooted during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government but was not seriously carried forward during the following 10-year Congress-led regime.
“Therefore, the sanction of an AIIMS was a logical culmination of the process that had got unduly stalled and hence soon after the presentation of the union budget on February 28, I had thanked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for having sanctioned it,” he said.
Rakesh Gupta, president of the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, had earlier said it was “strange and regrettable” that the BJP which got all its seats in the state assembly from Jammu region and is part of the ruling coalition in the state with the Peoples Democratic Party “has started acting against the interests of the region”.
A shutdown call on Friday against the alleged discrimination by the state government got support from the Congress, the National Conference and the National Panthers Party. Businesses, public transport and other industrial activities were affected.