PM, Sonia visit ailing Surjeet (Lead)

May 18th, 2008 - 8:03 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Noida, May 18 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi Sunday called on ailing Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet, whose condition remains “very critical”. Manmohan Singh came to the Metro Hospital here on the outskirts of Delhi and spent about 10 minutes around noon. Gandhi came in the evening.

Both saw the 92-year-old veteran Marxist at the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit where he was admitted May 6 following cardiac arrest.

Since then, he has been put on ventilation. But Surjeet has not regained consciousness.

“His condition is very critical but stable. He is on ventilation. His vital organs are stable. Even the heart is working,” hospital director and chief cardiac surgeon Purushottam Lal told IANS.

Lal said it was too early to say if Surjeet would recover. “We expect his condition to improve… We are trying our level best.”

But another doctor who did not want to be identified said: “The chances of Surjeet’s survival are very minimal.”

“Sonia Gandhi spent a few quiet minutes,” a hospital source said, speaking to doctors and Surjeet’s party colleagues.

Surjeet, a former general secretary of the party, had been virtually confined to his Teen Murti Lane residence in New Delhi for over a year due to ill health.

CPI-M leaders including general secretary Prakash Karat, who succeeded Surjeet in 2005, and politburo members Sitaram Yechury, Brinda Karat and M.K. Pandhe also visited the hospital Sunday.

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