File photo of former President Pranab Mukherjee | Commons
File photo of former President Pranab Mukherjee | Commons
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New Delhi: While the medical condition of former President Pranab Mukherjee remains critical, in another room at the same hospital — the Army Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi’s Dhaula Kuan — his one-time colleague in Parliament, Jaswant Singh, is currently recuperating from an infection.

Mukherjee’s predicament — a fall in the bathroom and subsequent neurological complications — is eerily reminiscent of what happened to Singh, another former defence minister, exactly six years and three days ago.

On the intervening night of 7-8 August in 2014, just weeks after he was denied a BJP ticket and lost his election as an independent from Barmer, Singh had suffered a similar fall. There was subsequently a brain bleed and he remains in coma until date. He has been in an out of hospital a few times, but is largely in home care.

Mukherjee has similar injuries with a major difference being he has tested positive for Covid-19.

The bulletin on Mukherjee’s health issued by the hospital reads: “Former President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee was admitted to Army Hospital (R&R) Delhi Cantt at 1207 hours on 10 August 2020 in a critical condition. Workup at the hospital revealed a large brain clot for which he underwent emergency life saving surgery. Post surgery he continues to remain critical on ventilatory support. He was also found to be COVID-19 positive.”

The former president’s condition is now stable but critical. His heart and respiratory functions are said to be good.

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Number of coincidences, says Singh’s son

Jaswant Singh’s son, Manvendra Singh, now a Congress leader, confirmed to ThePrint that both leaders are in the same hospital.

“They are in the same hospital right now. My father had an infection, so he was being given antibiotics but they are over now, so he is just being kept under watch,” Singh, himself a former MP, told ThePrint. “Yes, there are similarities but what happened to my father is very different from what happened to the former President. My father had suffered a bleed in the brain. He was on Ecosprin, a blood thinner, so that was an issue. He has been in and out of hospital a few times, but he has largely been in home care.”

Singh recalled another eerie coincidence. In the last six years, the two former colleagues have been in the same hospital at the same time thrice.

“In 2014 after a few days of my father’s fall, Mr. Mukherjee was admitted in the same hospital with a heart problem,” he said. “He underwent a procedure and was taken to the same special care room where my father was. Last December, he was again in hospital for an infection, so was Mr. Mukherjee. And this is the third time,” he said.

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