Sharad Pawar
Sharad Pawar
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NCP Chief Sharad Pawar is unwell and he will be hospitalised on March 31 for surgery as he has been diagnosed with a gallbladder disease. A cancer survivor, the 80-year-old former Union Minister had undergone surgery for the illness in 2004.

NCP chief spokesman and Minister of Minority Affairs Nawab Malik tweeted, ''Our party president Sharad Pawar was feeling a little uneasy due to pain in his abdomen last evening and was taken to Breach Candy Hospital for a check-up. Upon diagnosis it came to light that he has a problem in his gall bladder.’’ He further said, ''Pawar is on blood thinning medication which is now being stopped due to this issue. He will be admitted in hospital on March 31 and an endoscopy and surgery will be conducted. Hence all his programmes stand cancelled until further notice.’’

Pawar was to leave for Kerala on Monday for campaigning, as NCP is a key partner in the CPM-led UDF; later, on April 1, he was expected in West Bengal to canvass for TMC leader Mamta Banerjee.

After check up at the Breach Candy, Pawar, along with his daughter and party MP Supriya Sule, returned home.

Messages for his speedy recovery are pouring in. Pawar himself tweeted that he received telephone calls from Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, union ministers Rajnath Singh, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Nirmala Sitharaman and Anurag Thakur; former CM Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra Legislative Council Deputy Chairperson Neelam Gorhe, MNS Chief Raj Thackeray, former minister Suresh Prabhu, Congress leader Mukul Wasnik and a host of other leaders tweeted wishing him well.

The diagnosis of Pawar's illness came amid a raging crisis in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. The NCP is part of this coalition, along with the Shiv Sena and the Congress. NCP leader and Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has been under attack for alleged corruption charges levelled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.

Pawar’s health bulletin was shared by the party a day after there were reports of Pawar’s secret meeting with Union Minister Amit Shah in Ahmedabad. While Shah was noncommittal on the issue, the NCP has categorically denied that such a meeting took place.

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