The then Atal Bihari Vajpayee led NDA government's move six years ago to have a unit of the prestigious All India Institute of Medical
Sciences (AIIMS) at Patna has seemingly proved to be abortive. The state BJP has decided to make it an issue during the parliamentary poll.
The state BJP thinks that the Manmohan Singh led UPA government did not resume from where the Vajpayee government had left in 2004. It, on Saturday, held both the UPA government and the Bihar ministers in the UPA's Union cabinet as largely responsible for the seeming abortion of AIIMS. Initially. the estimated cost of the poject was Rs 285 crore. It has now escalated to Rs 400 crore, which, in itself, might work as a deterrent on the Centre to pursue the project to its fruition.
State NDA convener and health minister in Nitish Kumar government Nand Kishore Yadav did not mince words on Saturday, when he said, "The UPA government felt that JPNAIIMS would be seen as an achievement of the NDA, and, therefore, it did not push the matter to its logical end. To add to it, the Bihar ministers obstructed it."
Asked why CM Nitish Kumar did not coordinate with the Union ministers from Bihar and organize an all-party delegation to Delhi if the project was so prestigious, Yadav said that he had met UPA's Union health minister A Rama Doss, and Nitish, too, had written to the Prime Minister separately.
"The JPNAIIMS has been allowed to suffer abortion under a design, but if the NDA comes to power in Delhi we will see that the project is completed," Yadav said, adding: "The Delhi under Atal Bihari Vajpayee had tried to address the health needs of the people of the state, since its critical patients, normally, had been rushing to Delhi AIIMS for treatment."
According to him, Union health minister Sushma Swaraj had initiated the official move for an AIIMS at Patna in July 2003, when she, in an official letter, asked the then CM, Rabri Devi, to allot 100 acres of land for the Patna AIIMS, pointing out that the project would be completed in two years after the land transfer. Rabri consented, and former vice-president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat laid the foundation stone on January 2 next year.
In two lots, the Rabri government transferred 72.67 acres of land by June 2005, while the Nitish government transferred the remaining 27.33 acres of land on November 28 the same year, and the Centre intimated about the possession of land on April 27, 2006. In between, nothing beyond the boundary wall and work on residential quarters has been initiated. "The UPA has been insincere in the implementattion of the project," Yadav said.