Chhagan Bhujbal recounts prison tales

Updated: Jul 11, 2018, 08:26 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Nagpur

Speaks about his severe pancreatic ailment and those who ensured his return to good health

Chhagan Bhujbal
Chhagan Bhujbal

A shadow of his former self, Chhagan Bhujbal nevertheless continues to charm audiences with his wit. His face shows flashes of pain, a reminder of his prolonged stay in jail. He says it was luck and the expertise of doctors at KEM Hospital who treated his pancreatic ailment that saved him.

Bhujbal opened up before a select group of journalists at Nagpur's Vidhan Bhavan on Tuesday, narrating his acute health problems and a resolve to fight all odds, including a corruption case in which he was denied bail for more than two years.

"The diagnosis of my ailment had become very difficult. I ran a high fever for one-and-a-half months despite being on a heavy dose of antibiotics in prison," he said. He said his condition remained unchanged at JJ Hospital where he was shifted to from jail. "A series of tests was recommended. And, finally, a CT scan showed that my pancreas was affected. My only hope was [the BMC-run] KEM Hospital, where a super-specialty treatment of the pancreas was available. The KEM doctors treated me for a while long there, managing to take me out of the jaws of death. I thank them for everything they have done for me."

Bhujbal also thanked the leaders in the government for making efforts to save his life. "Many people ensured that I came out alive," he said, adding that he has been religiously following the doctors' advice on medicines and diet.

"Test after test had become a routine. I was even tested for cancer, but that came out negative. My heart, too, seems to be working much better. This means I'm still young at heart," he said with a chuckle.

The 70-year-old leader, who now sports a white beard and continues to tie his trademark muffler around his neck, arrived in Nagpur on Sunday to a rousing welcome from NCP workers. A day later, he made his first fiery speech in the House after more than two years. Legislators from across parties were seen congratulating him for returning to the House with the firepower he has been known for.

Ahead of the 2019 elections, Bhujbal's comeback to active politics is seen as a big impetus to the other backward class movement that he has been leading in the NCP. His OBC leadership is recognised pan India through an organisation, Samata Parishad.

Even in an informal talk, Bhujbal did not spare the BJP government. He reiterated the points he had raised on Monday in the House. He said he would not budge from taking the fight to the BJP's citadel.

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