Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh on Thursday said the Amarnath yatra can be held throughout the year and blamed the separatists for indulging in politics over the issue.
“There are geological survey reports that Amarnath yatra can be conducted through the entire year,’’ he said in Srinagar. However, he did not give details about the survey or who conducted it.
Singh blamed the separatist leaders for playing politics over the issue and said they are deliberately issuing statements on this.
Many separatists, including Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, have demanded that the period of the annual Amarnath yatra be curtailed as it is harming the environment.
In Jammu, Singh spoke about the setting up of an AIIMS in the state. “Let me make it clear that AIIMS will be set up in Jammu… We have no objection to setting up AIIMS in other cities, but after Jammu,’’ he said.
“However, it may take some time as there is controversy over the issue,’’ he said. “We want to unite and not divide people… We will go by the commitment we made to the people of Jammu,’’ he added.
Controversy has been raging over the issue with Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed saying that in the Agenda for Alliance finalised between PDP and BJP, AIIMS was to be set up in the Valley and IIT and IIM in Jammu. Jammu has been agitating over this, alleging that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech had announced an AIIMS for Jammu.
On the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Singh said that the last word should come from various security agencies.
“Politicians can only provide suggestions on the issue,’’ he said.
Singh also highlighted the achievements of the NDA government over the past one year.
He expressed concern over the state government’s decision to abandon the practice of having a mini secretariat in Jammu after “durbar” moves to Valley during the summer.