Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad underwent two major heart surgeries — one to replace an aortic valve and the other to repair the aorta, at a hospital here on Wednesday.
"The surgery began this morning," a spokesperson for the Asian Heart Institute, located in suburban Bandra Kurla complex, said.
The former Bihar chief minister has been diagnosed with 'aortic stenosis'.
Asian Heart Institute medical director Vijay D'Silva had said on Tuesday that the surgical procedure will take over five hours.
Institute head Dr Ramakanta Panda, who had operated on former prime minister Manmohan Singh five years ago, said the decision to perform the surgery followed a series of medical tests and evaluation on the 66-year-old leader, who was admitted to the institute on Monday.
Meanwhile, RJD leaders and legislators conducted 'hawan' and special prayers at party headquarters here for the well-being of their chief.
RJD state president Ram Chandra Purvey led the well-wishers in conducting the 'hawan' (sacred fire) in the company of MLAs Umakant Yadav, Faiyaz Ahmad, Ram Awatar Paswan and several others. It was preceded by reciting of divine names of God.
As oblations were offered in the sacrificial fire amid chanting of Sanskrit hymns, slogans of 'Lalu Yadav Zindabad' (Long live Lalu Yadav) by party supporters rent the air.
"Our leader Lalu Prasad, the well-wisher of the poor and downtrodden of India, is ill and is undergoing surgery in Mumbai. We are praying in front of Lord Krishna for him so that he gets well soon and returns among us to take the nation and its people to greater heights," Purvey told reporters.
RJD leaders and workers from the Muslim community, led by party spokesperson Ejaz Ahmad held special 'dua' (blessings) prayers at the party headquarters seeking divine intervention for speedy recovery of Prasad.
"We have performed prayers for Prasad as he is the tallest secular leader in the country. His speedy recovery is necessary for the society," said Ahmad.