June 11, 2015 4:37:18 pm
Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday sought to put an end to the controversy surrounding the setting up of an AIIMS in the state, saying it is working to ensure that the institution will come up in both the regions.
“AIIMS will come up in Jammu as well as in Kashmir. We have never said that it will not come up in Kashmir,” state’s Minister for Industries and Commerce, Chander Parkash Ganga, told reporters in Jammu.
Ganga said the government would follow the model of having two central universities – one each for Kashmir and Jammu – in the state.
“Like the Central University came to Jammu as well to Kashmir, rest assured, whatever we will do, will be done for the betterment of both the regions,” he said.
The issue of setting up of the proposed institute had pitted the regions against each other. While Kashmir demanded setting up of the institution in the Valley, Jammu saw bandh and protest demonstrations over the demand for the premier institute to be set up there.
Recently, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jitender Singh had said AIIMS will first come up in Jammu and then somewhere else.
Ganga said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed were experienced politicians and the government keeps in mind both the regions.
“Whatever has been done till now, has been done keeping in mind both the regions. Our prime minister and the chief minister are both experienced politicians,” he said.
The minister said the PDP-BJP coalition government had new ideas and will rope in investment from the country as well as from foreign nations.
“I assure you that we are coming with new ideas in Kashmir as well as in Jammu. If I talk about the industries department, if we have three lakh government employees, then I tell you with guarantee that we will increase it to more than five lakh in the six years. We will rope in investment from the country as well as from foreign,” he said.
On the issue of eviction of Gujjars from forest land in Jammu, the minister said, “the illegal encroachment should be removed from everywhere”.
“The government will not take any such steps which will not safeguard the interests of anyone…This is an honest government and is working with utmost honesty,” he said.
The minister was in Jammu to kick-start the digitisation of the workers’ data of his party – the BJP.
He said the party had enrolled 3.30 lakh members in the Valley and has set a target of five lakh members.