Politics

Atal Bihari Vajpayee critical, on life support system

Atal Bihari Vajpayee critical, on life support system

New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is admitted in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for over 2 months, is critical and on life support system, the premier medical institute said on Wednesday.

The 93-year-old leader has been suffering from urinary tract infection, lower respiratory tract infection and kidney problems.

“Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been admitted for the last 9 weeks at AIIMS. Unfortunately his condition has worsened over the last 24 hours,” a press statement issued by AIIMS on Wednesday said.

“His condition is critical and he is on life support system,” it further added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited AIIMS to enquire about ailing leader’s health condition at around 7:18pm. Among others visiting Vajpayee were Union textiles minister Smriti Irani, and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah.

Randeep Guleria, director of AIIMS has been taking care of Vajpayee’s health for a long time. Currently a team of eight doctors is actively involved in his treatment. Following the veteran leader’s deteriorating medical condition, the saffron party has cancelled all meetings scheduled on Thursday, people familiar with the matter said.

Modi in his Independence Day speech on Wednesday from Red Fort in Delhi also mentioned about Vajpayee’s approach towards Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). “Regarding J&K, the path shown by Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji is the right one. We want to move ahead on that road. Vajpayeeji said Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat, Kashmiriyat (humanism, democracy, Kasmiriyat)—with these three basic elements we want to develop Jammu & Kashmir,” Modi said in his speech.

“Whether it is Ladakh or Jammu or Srinagar valley. We want balanced development where an ordinary person’s aspirations are fulfilled, infrastructure is strengthened; we want to move ahead with brotherhood in our hearts. We do not want to move on the road of bullets and abuses, we want to move ahead with love and affection with the Kashmiri people who have stood with us in patriotic fervour,” he said.

Vajpayee was admitted to the premiere medical institute following respiratory and kidney problems around 11.30am on 11 June. He was diagnosed with urinary tract infection and chest congestion.

The 93-year-old BJP leader is the oldest living former Indian prime minister. Vajpayee’s health has been a cause of concern for the BJP. He had undergone knee replacement surgery at Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai in 2001 and suffered a stroke in 2009 that impaired his speech. He is also suffering from diabetes and dementia.

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