After Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of AIIMS in north Bihar district of Darbhanga in his address, via video conference, to the Panchayati Raj Parishad in West Bengal, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav accused Modi of 'safed jhooth' (blatant lie) that the hospital had been opened due to the centre's efforts.
"It is an outright lie on part of the PM to have made a mention of AIIMS at Darbhanga, which is yet to be constructed. He reminds me of Union Home Minister Amit Shah who some time ago boasted of Purnea airport, which is far from functional, as one of the achievements of the government," Yadav told PTI.
The plan to construct a second AIIMS in Bihar was announced in 2015 and the project, which got its cabinet not in September 2020, is still overdue, state officials claim. The Centre had earlier rejected the land allocated by the Bihar government for the construction as it was "unsuitable". Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had criticised the Centre for "repeatedly" rejecting proposals sent by the state government.
Meanwhile today, Yadav claimed that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had taken initiative for AIIMS, Darbhanga and a piece of land, suitably located just a few kilometres from a national highway, was also allocated. "But the Centre threw a spanner by claiming the location of the land was not convenient," said Yadav.
The young RJD leader said he had expressed dismay over the Centre's sudden change of mind in a telephonic conversation with Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and also shared a copy of a letter he wrote to the latter in this regard on his social media handles.
A war of words soon erupted after Dr Manuskh Mandaviya, Minister of Health and Family Welfare retorted with another letter that claimed that the permission for AIIMS Darbhanga was given by the Modi government on 19 September 2020 and the first land was given by the Bihar government on 3 November 2021. "Dear Tejashwi ji, Modi government does not do politics in development but does politics of development. Our intention is clear," he said in a tweet.
"After this you came to the government and changed this place on April 30, 2023 while doing politics," he said in a series of tweets.
BJP leader Sushil Modi too slammed Yadav's comments saying, "Nitish Kumar does not want another AIIMS should be made in Darbhanga, because if it is made its credit will be given to PM Modi...He wants to keep Bihar deprived of development schemes..."
Modi made a mention of the proposed hospital during his address, while underscoring that premier health centres were set up in all parts of the country to ensure that people did not have to travel long distances for medical treatment.