AIIMS row: National Conference and Congress target BJP, hold protests in Jammu

Friday, 31 July,Jammu: Opposition National Conference and Congress on Friday held demonstrations against the BJP leadership in the state and at the Centre, accusing them of “betraying” the people of Jammu by allegedly retracting the promise of setting up an AIIMS in the region.

National Conference workers, led by party leader Dharamveer Singh Jamwal, took out a protest rally from Sher-e- Kashmir Bhavan and raised slogans in favour of setting up of an AIIMS in Jammu. “The PDP-BJP coalition stands exposed. They are suppressing the voices of the people and ignoring their aspirations,” Jamwal said.

Around 300 Congress workers led by party’s senior vice president, Sham Lal Sharma, held a protest in the border town of R S Pura, in support of the AIIMS demand. The Opposition parties’ workers burnt effigies of BJP ministers and leaders, accusing them of sabotaging their struggle for the issue and betraying the people of the region.

Congress’s Sharma slammed BJP for not fulfilling its “written commitment” made to the AIIMS Coordination Committee (ACC) for a full-fledged AIIMS in Jammu. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi made “hollow” promises to the people. The rival parties also condemned the alleged attack on the “peaceful” protesting members of the ACC today outside BJP office in Kachhi Chowni area.

Earlier in the morning, clashes broke out between activists of BJP and the ACC when the latter were observing a complete bandh over demand of establishment of AIIMS in the region, following which police used cane charge to bring situation to normal. ACC has gone ahead with a three-day bandh in Jammu, which started here today, after rejecting the Centre’s announcement for “AIIMS-like facilities” in the region.