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BJP hopes to fly in ailing MPs

Three ailing BJP MPs are giving anxious moments to the party as it goes into overdrive to defeat the UPA government in next week’s trust vote, report Shekhar Iyer and Zeeshan Sheikh.
By Shekhar Iyer and Zeeshan Sheikh | Hindustan Times, New Delhi/mumbai
UPDATED ON JUL 19, 2008 02:01 AM IST

Three ailing BJP MPs are giving anxious moments to the party as it goes into overdrive to defeat the UPA government in next week’s trust vote.

The three are actor-turned-politician Dharmendra, singer Mahesh Kanodia and Malegaon MP Harish Chandra Chavan.

The party is ready to get them to the Capital by air ambulance but it remains to be seen if their doctors give them the go-ahead.

Chavan, 57, had an accident in June that has left him bed-ridden with shattered bones and a broken hip in a Nashik hospital. He can barely move but may get on the chartered flight that’ll take him to Delhi and cost the BJP a cool Rs 5 lakh.

“I will definitely go” was his first response, much to the BJP’s delight. But the initial bravado has since given way to a niggling doubt. Chavan says he will consult his doctors before undertaking the journey.

“It depends on what my doctors advise. This issue is of national significance but I don’t want to end up crippled for the rest of my life. I have told the party leadership and the doctors that if my condition does not worsen by travelling by air, I will surely go. But if it does, I will have to listen to my doctors.”

Dharmendra is in Los Angeles, recuperating from knee surgery, while Kanodia is still unwell after undergoing open heart surgery. Both MPs have assured party managers that they will try their best to reach Delhi on July 22.

BJP president Rajnath Singh said on Friday: “We are trying our best to bring all our unwell MPs for the trust vote.” The BJP has already requested the Lok Sabha secretariat to allow ailing MPs to cast their vote from the Parliament lobby.

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