Atal Bihari Vajpayee continues to be critical; AIIMS to issue next bulletin soon

The former PM's condition worsened over the last 24 hours and he's on life support system, said a statement issued by AIIMS late on Wednesday.

Published: 16th August 2018 07:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th August 2018 05:29 PM   |  A+A-

Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, BJP leaders Syed Shahnawaz Hussain and Giriraj Singh arrive at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to visit former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New Delhi on Thursday August 16 2018. | PTI

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Former Prime Minister and BJP patriarch Atal Bihari Vajpayee is battling for life and remains on advanced life support at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for the second day, hospital officials said today.

As anxiety grew about the state of the 93-year-old leader's health, a stream of leaders, including Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, BJP chief Amit Shah and Union ministers Sushma Swaraj and Rajnath Singh, visited him in hospital.

"Doctors are treating him. He is critical. And doctors are doing their best to restore his health," Union Health Minister JP Nadda told reporters here.

Several government events have either been postponed or cancelled.

Also Read | BJP postpones its national executive in wake of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee's poor health

A health bulletin from the premier hospital said Vajpayee's "condition continues to be the same. He is critical and on life-support system".

"Both his lungs are not in good condition because of pneumonia on both sides and kidneys are also weak. He is critical," a source said.

People of all faiths in his "karam bhoomi" Lucknow held special prayers for his long life.

Shortly after the news spread that the veteran leader's health has deteriorated, people began flocking to temples to offer prayers and hold 'havans' for his longevity.

Also Read | Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee continues to be critical: Health Minister Nadda

Special prayers were organised at Dakshinmukhi Hanuman temple and the one at the BJP office in Lucknow.

Children offered prayers and said 'duas' at Madarsas and a public school in the city.

The former prime minister was admitted to the hospital on June 11 with a kidney tract infection, urinary tract infection, low urine output and chest congestion.

Among those who visited the hospital were Union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan, Radha Mohan Singh and J P Nadda as well as National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

BJP veteran L K Advani, who along with Vajpayee expanded the party's base in 1990s, also visited the former PM.

"We all should pray for his recovery. His condition is serious. We should not forget that he is a leader who wanted to make the country strong. He wanted peace not only in our country but the whole world," Abdullah said.

BJP senior leader LK Advani arrive at All India Institute of Medical Sciences. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav/EPS)

A number of chief ministers, including Madhya Pradesh's Shivraj Singh Chouhan, West Bengal's Mamata Banerjee, Bihar's Nitish Kumar and Assam's Sarbananda Sonowal, are expected to arrive here later today.

"He is our idol. His presence itself gives us inspiration and encouragement. We are praying for his health," Chouhan said.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said, "I have been fortunate to receive much affection and advice from Atal-ji and an opportunity to understand public life. He was like a guardian to me. I wish him speedy recovery."

Some members of the bachelor leader's relatives have come to Delhi from Gwalior.

Last night, the hospital said Vajpayee's condition had worsened and he was on life-support systems.

A team of doctors from various departments including nephrology, gastroenterology and cardiology are taking care of Vajpayee.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the hospital yesterday evening to enquire about Vajpayee's condition.

He reached around 7.15 pm and spent about 50 minutes there.

Vajpayee, a diabetic, has only one functional kidney. He suffered a stroke in 2009 that weakened his cognitive abilities. Subsequently, he developed dementia.

A large crowd of mediapersons and others have gathered outside the hospital in south Delhi to get updates on Vajpayee's health, affecting the movement of traffic on the road today.

Policemen have been deployed to manage the crowd and traffic outside the hospital. Delhi Police has put traffic restrictions around AIIMS.

Union Home minister Rajnath Singh arrives at AIIMS hospital to enquire about Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpai's health in New Delhi on Thursday. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav/EPS)


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