JP Nadda was talking about development in the nation — but the AIIMS Madurai building at least is only in his imagination it seems.

MPs Su Venkatesan and Manickam Tagore visiting the site for the upcoming AIIMS in Madurai
news Controversy Friday, September 23, 2022 - 17:01

BJP president JP Nadda was in Madurai on Thursday, September 22, when he made a verifiably false claim: that the work on AIIMS Madurai was 95% complete. At a public event in the city, Nadda said, "I am happy to share with you that Rs 1264 crore has been allotted to bring All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to Madurai. Today, 95% of the work of All India Institute of Medical Sciences has been completed. Very soon, it will be dedicated by the Prime Minister to the people. " Exactly what that 95% is however remains a mystery, since the site where the medical college and hospital is supposed to be built remains empty. Was it stolen overnight? Did bulbul birds complete the building in the BJP president's imagination? These are just a few of the questions that people are asking after Nadda's false claim.

“Even the board announcing the upcoming AIIMS and the one brick that was there is missing. The building seems to have been stolen,” said Congress MP Manickam Tagore to TNM after visiting the site for the upcoming AIIMS in Madurai, whose constituency Virudhunagar houses the AIIMS site.

“When we visited the land, it was empty, just like it was when the state government handed it over to the Union government three years ago,” said Manickam Tagore after he visited the site along with CPI(M) MP Su Venkatesan and a few others.


MPs Su Venkatesan and Manickam Tagore visiting the site of the upcoming AIIMS after JP Nadda's speech

Speaking to the press on Friday, September 23, Su Venkatesan said, “Even last week, when Manickam Tagore went to the site, no work was done. It was a little shocking when JP Nadda claimed that 95% of the work was done within four days of the last visit. After we heard his speech, Manickam Tagore and I rushed to the site because we thought bulbul birds must have finished the work in a span of four days."


A signboard saying 'Where is the 95% completed AIIMS?' was left by the MPs who visited the site

The two MPs questioned the BJP for making blatantly false statements. “Who are they trying to fool?" asked Manickam Tagore, "Who are they trying to misguide? It is shocking that the former Health Minister would say that 95% of the work is completed and that the Prime Minister will dedicate it to the country." The Congress MP also shared pictures of the empty site on Twitter. 

While politicians have been visiting the site and debunking Nadda’s claims, several memes have cropped up on social media about the issue. The most popular one is a screenshot from a video from the movie Kannum Kannum, where actor Vadivelu files a police complaint saying that his well had been stolen. Here, the well is being compared to the AIIMS building that is supposedly 95% completed but cannot be spotted. 

This is not the first time the upcoming AIIMS in Madurai has been the subject of ridicule. During the 2021 Tamil Nadu Assembly election campaign, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Youth Wing Secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin highlighted the delay in the completion of AIIMS by holding a single brick during one of his rallies. This was a statement on how no work has been done ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation in 2019. Udhayanidhi’s action in 2021 had also become fodder for memes and was even cited as the reason behind his victory during the election.

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