By Chandrashekhar Sahu
What does politics means to a state? No matter what be the situation, it should not mean imposition of sufferings on the people of a state. But this is what is happening in Chhattisgarh where the people are facing the consequences of political turbulence.
The AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences), a prestigious name in the field of medical services, is situated in New Delhi. In 2003, sometime in the month of September, the then Union Minister, Smt. Sushma Swaraj visited Raipur and laid the foundation stone for the establishment of another branch of the AIIMS with a view to provide better and world-class medical facilities to the people of the newly formed state of Chhattisgarh. At that period, Smt. Swaraj was the Union Minister from the BJP which was ruling at the Centre and Chhattisgarh was a Congress-ruled state.
The state election held in December 2003, resulted in a change and Chhattisgarh became a BJP-ruled state. The Centre also witnessed change and now the Congress government was at the Centre. The reversal in the situation has affected the state-Centre relationship. The sour relationship between the Centre and the state is unfortunate as far as the development of the state is concerned. The BJP blames the Centre for ignoring the BJP-ruled states. In a recent incidence in the capital, the stone laid down by Smt. Sushma Swaraj was stolen and found missing from the place. This resulted in BJP activists, business representatives, trade organisations and doctors from different corners of the state staging a dharna near the distict hospital at Tatibandh, Raipur on August 21, 2004, demanding speedy implementation of the decision to establish AIIMS in the state capital. They expressed resentment over the dilly-dallying tactics of the Central Government in the completion of the project.
The national sub-coordinator for the BJP, Dr Rajendra Dubey stated that the budget sanctioned by the Centre for the AIIMS at Raipur was a mere Rs 10 crores as against the estimated cost of Rs 440 crores. The fact is that the former NDA government at the Centre had thought of completing this project in a maximum span of three years but now the people fear that the issue has been pushed to the back-burner by the Cong-ress government. The various organisations which participated in the dharna include Indian Medical Association, Chhattisgarh Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Wholesale Cloth Merchant'sAssociation, Maheshwari Samaj, Wholesale Medicine Trader'sAssociation, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and a number of the BJP activists. Recently in a state BJP executive meeting, the attitude of the Centre on this issue was condemned un-animously.