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PM surgery today, Pranab is in charge of Cabinet

PM Manmohan Singh will undergo a heart bypass surgery at All India Institute of Medical Sciences today. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will head the Govt during his absence, reports Sanchita Sharma. Plan of action | Who is in charge?

india Updated: Jan 24, 2009 11:00 IST
Sanchita Sharma

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will undergo a heart bypass surgery at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Saturday morning. Singh (76) was admitted to the hospital at 1.45 pm on Friday.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will head the government during his absence. Singh has left instructions that Mukherjee is to take all meetings of cabinet committees on security and political affairs.

“The PM is expected to stay in hospital for a week. He’ll be able to attend to his official duties in two weeks,” said Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss. See graphics: Manmohan's medical report

The decision to perform the surgery early was not prompted by a medical emergency and there was no threat to life, said Dr K Srinath Reddy, former head of cardiology at AIIMS and the PM’s physician. Plan of action

The choice of Saturday was also prompted by the three-day break — the weekend is followed by Republic Day. “The three off days mean there’ll be fewer people at AIIMS,” said Reddy.

The decision to go for a bypass was taken because Singh was diagnosed with multiple blockages in his heart. Singh has a history of heart problems: he had bypass surgery in 1990 and an angioplasty for stent implantation in 2003. According to sources, four grafts were put into his heart in 1990.

The surgery will be performed by a three-member team from AIIMS along with Dr Ramakant Panda, of the Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai. Who is in charge?

This time, too, Singh reportedly needs three to four grafts to bypass the blockages.

“The PM will be fully active in four to six weeks — even more active than before — and will start attending to his official duties in two weeks,” said Reddy.