Following the Union government’s declaration of its preference to Hubballi-Dharwad over Kalaburagi for the establishment of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), social and political activists in Kalaburagi have started preparations to organise a series of activities ranging from taking a delegation to the government to launching agitations demanding that the premier institute be set up in their city.
In a meeting convened by Hyderabad Karnataka Janapara Sanhgarsha Samiti president Laxman Dasti here recently to discuss the future course of action, representatives from different political parties, including the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Janata Dal (Secular), the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), declared their support to the agitations that are being planned.
Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey had, in his response to a question raised by Shobha Karandlaje, Lok Sabha member from Udupi-Chikmagalur, recently, said that the State government had offered a site at Hubballi-Dharwad for setting up AIIMS. He also made it clear that the State government’s earlier proposal to upgrade the ESIC Hospital in Kalaburagi to AIIMS has been turned down.
“The Union government’s preference to Hubballi-Dharwad over Kalaburagi for the establishment of AIIMS is continued negligence of the development of Kalyana Karnataka. While the other areas, including Bombay Karnataka, are getting one development project after the other, Kalyana Karnataka’s long-pending demands have remained unfulfilled. The establishment of a Railway Division in Kalaburagi, a Secretariat for the implementation of Special Status accorded to the region under Article 371(J) of the Constitution and National Investment and Manufacturing Zone are some of the projects that are not being considered by the government,” Mr. Dasti told the meeting.
CPI leader Mahesh Rathod cast doubts on the seriousness of the BJP governments in the State and at the Centre towards the development of the region. He strongly proposed to build a mass movement organising multiple agitations and involving people from all walks of life.
“We cannot expect the BJP to do something good to the region. The BJP doesn’t believe in democracy. Top leaders in that party such as Narendra Modi and Amit Shah never considered the opinions of other leaders and people’s representatives of their own party, leave alone from other parties. I don’t think that they will consider the demands of Kalyana Karnataka leaders to establish AIIMS in Kalaburagi. A mass movement is the only solution to get our voices heard by the people in power,” he said.
At the end, it was decided to take an all-party delegation shortly to the State and Union governments demanding that AIIMS be established in Kalaburagi.