Srinagar, June 27: National Conference and Congress on Monday,June 27 staged a walkout from the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly in support of independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid's allegation that the PDP-BJP government was discriminating against Kashmir Valley and favouring Jammu region.
Rashid had raised the question whether the government had any plans to set up an IIT and an IIM in Kashmir at par with Jammu region of the state.
Minister for Education Naeem Akhtar in his reply said the IIM was sanctioned to Jammu under the Prime Minister's Reconstruction Plan and there was a possibility of setting up an out-campus in the Valley.
"The matter of IIT and IIM would be taken up with the Government of India at appropriate time after the establishment of main campus at Jammu," he said. Raising supplementary to his question, Rashid asked whether the government would sanction these institutes for the Valley only after local people take to streets as was done in Jammu while demanding an AIIMS hospital for the region.
"The AIIMS hospital was sanctioned for the valley but you sanctioned another AIIMS hospital for Jammu after an agitation there. Do you want people of Kashmir to do the same," he said.
The minister defended the government's decision to have separate AIIMS for Jammu and Kashmir regions, saying they were required to improve the healthcare sector of the state.
Akhtar said admissions to IIT and IIM were open for students from all regions of the state as well as from the rest of the country.
His remarks infuriated Valley-based MLAs from National Conference and Congress who staged a walkout from the house.
They alleged PDP came to power on the promise of ending regional discrimination but was fuelling it against the people of Kashmir. Rashid also later walked out of the house.