The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Health worry for Mamata

Calcutta, Dec. 26: Doctors attending to Mamata Banerjee put her on oxygen today after her blood pressure and pulse rate dropped on the 23rd day of fast.

“She complained of chest pain and breathing problems and her blood pressure is 85/55 and falling,” said Mamata confidante and doctor Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar before asking for oxygen cylinders this afternoon. “Her pulse rate is also dropping.”

Through the day Mamata lay on the cot on the dais “unable to utter a word because of acute weakness”, Trinamul leaders said. Even when BJP president Rajnath Singh came to meet her she did not speak.

As he was preparing to leave she tried to whisper a few words, expressing her gratitude to him and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had enquired about her health.

Singh said the National Democratic Alliance would meet at Vajpayee’s residence tomorrow to form a protest strategy on Singur.

After Singh left, Mamata’s condition worsened, Trinamul leaders said. They suggested she be rushed to hospital, but Mamata refused. “I will never go to the hospital,” a party leader quoted her as saying.

“If Mamatadi’s health continues to deteriorate, things may get very, very serious,” said Trinamul MP and party general secretary Mukul Roy.

“She can’t speak but she is firm that the fast would be called off only if the government returns the land to farmers who have not given their consent to acquisition.”

If the government was worried, it tried not to show it. Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee refused to comment on Mamata’s agitation, but offered to talk to her.

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