Lalu Prasad takes ill, admitted to cardiology wing of RIMS in Ranchi
Imprisoned Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad was admitted to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi on Saturday after he complained of discomfort at Birsa Munda Jail.
The former Bihar chief minister has had a history of cardiac ailments. He was admitted to the cardiology wing of the government hospital around 5pm on Saturday, but a jail official, who didn’t wish to be named, said his current illness was not related to the heart.
In August 2014, he underwent two major heart surgeries — one to replace an aortic valve and the other to repair the aorta, at Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai. He has since been under medication.
Jail superintendent Ashok Choudhary refused comments on the 69-year-old leader’s health, saying “we have sent him to RIMS … the rest is up to the doctors”.
Prasad has been serving jail term in Ranchi since December 23 last year following his conviction in a fodder scam case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89 lakh from the Deoghar treasury between 1991 and 1994. A month later, he was convicted in another fodder scam case and sentenced to five years in jail.
His son and former Bihar minister Tej Pratap Yadav flew from Patna to Ranchi after learning about his father’s health. Tej Pratap, senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Jharkhand RJD chief Annapurna Devi and hundreds of party workers visited RIMS amid strict security.
Prasad was taken to the hospital through a rear entrance to dodge his supporters and reporters waiting at the main door.
The hospital has yet to release any official communication on his health. According to hospital sources, whose identity cannot be revealed as they are not authorised to speak to media, Prasad is kept in room number 2 of the cardiology wing on the second floor of RIMS.
RIMS superintendent S K Choudhary said Prasad was under supervision of senior doctors of the cardiology department.
“He is currently under observation of our doctors. It would be too early to comment on his health,” he said.
Jharkhand RJD president Annapurna Devi said she and several party leaders went to the hospital after learning from TV news reports about Prasad’s health.
“We have not been allowed to meet him yet. There was no communication from the jail, we got to know about it through media reports,” she said on Saturday evening.