Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah have rushed back to the bedside of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is on life support system at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi. The Prime Minister had visited the BJP patriarch last evening, Mr Shah earlier this morning. The hospital, in a statement, said Mr Vajpayee’s condition “continues to remain the same. He is critical and on life support systems”.
Mr Vajpayee, a three-time Prime Minister, was admitted to the premier hospital with kidney tract infection and chest congestion on June 11.
The 93-year-old — who retired from public life after his health turned frail — has been under the supervision of Dr Randeep Guleria, the Director of AIIMS. For over three decades, Dr Guleria, a pulmonologist, has served as personal physician to Mr Vajpayee.
Doctors from various departments, including nephrology, gastroenterology and cardiology are also on the team taking care of the former Prime Minister, sources said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Mr Vajpayee last evening – his fourth visit since the veteran BJP leader was admitted at AIIMS. Others on the visitors’ list included Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, BJP lawmaker Meenakshi Lekhi and Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani.
Since morning today, BJP chief Amit Shah and Union ministers Rajnath Singh, JP Nadda and Venkaiah Naidu and several other leaders have visited Mr Vajpayee. Mr Shah also made a second visit this afternoon.
LK Advani, one of Mr Vajpayee’s closest colleagues and his home minister in the NDA government from 1998 to 2004, was among the visitors.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was a minister in Mr Vajpayee’s government, is expected to fly to Delhi later today to visit him. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia paid a visit to Mr Vajpayee this afternoon.
“Personally, 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,” tweeted Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee had headed governments thrice — for 13 days in 1996, 13 months in 1998 and served a five-year term from 1999. His was the first non-Congress government to last for a full term in office.
An outstanding parliamentarian, master orator, poet and liberal, Mr Vajpayee is hugely respected across party lines.