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Tug of war over proposed AIIMS

Hazaribagh, July 1: Union health minister Harsh Vardhan recently gave his consent for a regional AIIMS in Jharkhand, indirectly triggering a clash among not only ruling coalition partners but also opposition parties.

While chief minister Hemant Soren is trying hard to bring the AIIMS-like institute to his constituency and the JMM stronghold Dumka, his cabinet colleague and state health minister Rajendra Prasad Singh is openly pitching for the same in Bokaro.

The BJP and the CPI(ML) have also jumped on the bandwagon demanding the facility in Hazaribagh and Koderma districts, respectively.

The CPI(ML) today launched a signature campaign in favour of the proposed AIIMS in Karma, some 2km from Jhumri Telaiya town. The party leaders argued the ailing Central Mica Mine Labour Welfare Hospital could be turned into an AIIMS.

CPI(ML) district secretary Prem Prakash Paswan said the existing infrastructure and manpower — still 73 medical personnel are working at the hospital — could be used for AIIMS and it would save both time and money.

In Hazaribagh, BJP leaders met former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha two days ago, raising the demand for the proposed AIIMS in Barhi of the district. The BJP leaders pointed out that villagers had given up around 100 acres off the GT Road in early 1990s for setting up industries. “The plots have been lying vacant and can be used to set up AIIMS,” BJP leader Moti Choudhary said.

Sinha has promised to look into the matter.

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