Jaswant Singh critical after fall

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Jaswant Singh, author of Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence, had also been censured for praising the Quaid-e-Azam as a secular man. — File photo
Jaswant Singh, author of Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence, had also been censured for praising the Quaid-e-Azam as a secular man. — File photo

NEW DELHI: Former Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh was battling for life at Delhi’s military hospital on Friday after a fall at home left him with a critical head injury.

According to the defence ministry, which Mr Singh once headed, the 76-year old politician was in a “very critical condition” late in the evening. He is on life support systems and under constant monitoring by a team of neurosurgeons.

Mr Singh had resigned from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) just ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections after he was denied a ticket from his constituency in Barmer.

The defence ministry statement said: “Examination at the hospital showed him to be in coma, with signs of ‘raised intracranial tension and a haematoma scalp’. Urgent CT scan of the head showed ‘an acute subdural haematoma with mass effect, a midline shift and contusion of the brain substance’. A lifesaving ‘decompressive hemicraniectomy’ was done.”

The former BJP leader suffered an injury after he fell at his home in the national capital. He was found unconscious at his house in Delhi at around 11pm on Thursday and rushed to the hospital.

He was admitted to the hospital at 1am on Friday.

He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Army Research and Referal Hospital.

A senior doctor at the hospital said on Friday that Singh had been operated upon for head injury and he is in a critical condition in the ICU.

Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani and former party president Rajnath Singh visited the hospital.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Mr Singh’s family and prayed for his “speedy recovery”, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Mr Singh was expelled from the BJP after he decided to contest the general elections from his home district Barmer in Rajasthan as an independent candidate when the party fielded someone else. He lost the election. He was previously censured by the Rashtriy Swayamsewak Sangh for praising the Quaid-e-Azam as a secular man. Mr Singh has held the important finance, defence and external affairs portfolios in the Vajpayee ministry.

Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2014