‘AIIMS was delayed due to land, other issues’

I-T searches done according to norms, says BJP national president

BJP national president J.P. Nadda on Sunday said the construction of an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Madurai was delayed by issues relating to the building design, soil testing and land, but it would come up soon.

He was speaking at a press conference on the last day of the campaign for the election. To a question on DMK youth wing leader Udhayanidhi Stalin’s campaign holding a brick to point out that there was no progress in the construction, Mr. Nadda said the proposal came up when he was the Union Health Minister. “Since I was a Health Minister, I take full responsibility. It is a big project with a cost of over ₹1,100 crore… and with 750 beds. Delays might come in the form of land, building and getting all types of clearances,” he said.

On the DMK’s charge that the recent I-T searches were politically motivated, Mr. Nadda said they were done according to norms and based on the information received by the Income Tax Department.

“These departments work on their own. They [the DMK] are trying to politicise the issue unnecessarily. All I would say is honesty is the best policy, remain clean and remain safe,” he said.

As for DMK president M.K. Stalin’s statement that he would not allow implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) if his party came to power, Mr. Nadda said it was a Central law passed by Parliament and a State legislation or a State government could not bypass it.

On the AIADMK’s promise that it would urge the withdrawal of the CAA, he said the BJP and the AIADMK would work together on the issue.

He expressed confidence that the AIADMK alliance will form government in Tamil Nadu, the NDA will form government in Puducherry and West Bengal and will retain power in Assam.

In Kerala, we will be a force to reckon with, Mr. Nadda added.

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