Ailing BJP MPs come to party’s aid

July 22nd, 2008 - 1:54 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) With every vote crucial in its bid to topple the Manmohan Singh government, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was Tuesday gathering its ailing MPs close together in the capital — flying them in from various places and making arrangements at hospitals in case of any emergency. There was Harishchandra Chavan, recovering from a road accident, cine actor Dharmendra, who has just had a knee surgery, and Kishan Lal Diler, who is under medical supervision.

Chavan was brought by air early Tuesday - ahead of the crucial trust vote in the evening - from Nashik where he was undergoing treatment after his accident. Unable to move and surrounded by doctors and family members, the seriously injured MP from Malegaon in Maharashtra said: “I have come to vote.”

By his side was his anxious wife Kalawati Chavan. He was escorted by BJP national general secretary Gopinath Munde and Delhi leader Harsh Vardhan,

An elated Munde said: “Like Raja Harishachandra, he has stuck to truth.” An apparent reference to the fact that Chavan had struck to the party even though doctors had adviced him not to go to New Delhi.

He was brought to the Indian capital in an air ambulance with all the necessary facilities — two doctors and one nurse. Party sources said arrangements have been made at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for his care during his stay in New Delhi.

Party sources said Bollywood actor-turned-politician Dharmendra, who had undergone a knee surgery in the US and was recuperating in Los Angeles, would also be reaching the national capital Tuesday.

The third MP coming to the party’s aid in the crisis is Kishan Lal Diler, MP from Hathras who has been admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, not far from parliament. He is under medical supervision.

The BJP had been concerned that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who has not been keeping well for the past few months, would not be able to make it to parliament. But the party sought special permission for him to cast his vote from the parliament lobby.

Of continuing worry is Mahesh Kanodia. A popular singer from Gujarat, Kanodia recently underwent open heart surgery. Party managers are busy arranging to fly him to Delhi as well, party sources said.

An air ambulance has been stationed at the Mumbai airport and party managers would make their move as soon as doctors give their green signal, a leader said.

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