Jammu: Amid the growing clamour for setting up of AIIMS here, senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar yesterday ensured the protesters that the PDP-BJP government in the state fully endorse their demands.
"The demand (for setting up AIIMs in Jammu province) has full endorsement of the state government of J&K," J&K government spokesman and senior PDP minister Naeem Akhtar said at a function.
"All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is not the demand of Deputy Chief Minister or BJP, it has endorsement of entire state government. There is an actual need for such institutions in both provinces", he said.
Justifying the need to set up the premier institute in Jammu, the state Education Minister said, "Topography is such that people of Jammu will prefer to go to Post Graduate Institute (PGI) in Chandigarh than to come to Kashmir. There are huge physical barriers due to the highway, whereas Kashmiri patients find it easier to fly down to Delhi as there are many options available there".
"Such institutions are necessary for the people of the state but it is also important to manage smaller institutions", he said.
Akhtar also ruled out any differences between the coalition partners over the issue.
There has been widespread protest throughout the state from various quarters over the issue.
The chain hunger strike resumed by the AIIMS coordination committee (ACC) demanding the setting up of AIIMS here entered its sixth consecutive day today with 40 lawyers taking their turn to sit for the protest.
Congress's women wing and Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) today demanded resignation of the Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and the Forest Minister Bali Bhagat over the issue.