Mumbai: Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde on Monday demanded the government approach court to ensure that jailed NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal can avail treatment at any private hospital. Bhujbal, lodged in Arthur Road Jail here since 2016 after his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case, is suffering from a number of health issues.
He was admitted to state-run J J Hospital here on March 3 for pancreatitis and acute bronchial asthma. Raising the issue of the ill health of Bhujbal (70) through a Point of Propriety in the Upper House, Kapil Patil, who backs the Sharad Yadav-led faction of the JD (U), said despite being a former deputy chief minister, the NCP leader was not getting the privileges he deserved.
“The allegations against him (Bhujbal) have not been proven yet but he has not granted bail,” Patil said. Citing government protocol, Munde (NCP) said those holding Constitutional posts should be accorded necessary health treatment. He demanded the government approach court to ensure that Bhujbal can avail treatment at any private hospital.
House leader and Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil (BJP) said though Bhujbal is from the opposition party, he has made considerable contribution to the state. “The government has no intention of troubling him. We will do whatever that can be done lawfully. I will talk to Chief Minister about what could be done (regarding privileges) as Bhujbal had held several ministerial posts,” Patil said.
Bhujbal represents Yeola assembly constituency in Nashik district. NCP MLC Jayant Jadhav said Bhujbal has been under “tremendous stress” and asked the government to consider that the NCP leader is still a member of the state legislature.
“It is sad to see that he (Bhujbal) is being made to stand in queues at hospital for treatment. The government should at least try and ensure that natural justice is meted out to him,” Jadhav said. Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar said that under-trials could be shifted to private hospital for treatment, subject to permission from court or jail officials.
“Government should help him on this front and he should not made to stand in queues,” Nimbalkar said. Bhujbal was admitted to J J Hospital last Saturday after he complained of breathlessness and stomach ache. He is currently in the ICU of the hospital for pancreatitis and acute bronchial asthma.
Bhujbal had already undergone a bypass surgery and also suffers from severe diabetes, a skin condition, besides from asthma and respiratory problems, a J J Hospital doctor had said.
The admission of Bhujbal to state-run St George Hospital in South Mumbai from Arthur Road prison had kicked up a controversy in 2016 after it emerged that he was supposed to visit the dental OPD at the hospital for treatment for toothache but instead got admitted for high blood pressure, chest pain and fluctuating heart rate. Subsequently, he was discharged from the hospital after a week-long stay and shifted to the jail again.