Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar, presently in hospital for a medical routine, was mighty amused about rumours of his “death” doing the rounds on social media networks here on Tuesday. So persistent were the gossip and grapevine that the NCP released a brief video clip of the party supremo seated on a bed in Ruby Hospital, sporting a blue patient gown and chatting away with his daughter Supriya Sule, family members, party workers and media persons.
Appearing hale and hearty, Pawar, 76, was seen laughing and enjoying the “death” rumours about him over the past two days, with some even speculating that it was being kept a “secret” on account of Republic Day celebrations and the sad news would be revealed on Wednesday.
Pawar countered this by relating some famous incidents from the past when prominent personalities were reported “dead” but not only were they alive, but lived for many more years – including the “death” announcement of Loknayak Jayprakash Narain made prematurely by then prime minister Morarji Desai in parliament. “Such rumours actually increase the life-span of the person concerned,” Supriya, member of parliament, was seen saying in a lighter vein in the video uploaded by NCP executive president Jitendra Awhad.
Pawar was admitted to the Ruby Hospital late Sunday after he complained of breathlessness and fatigue. He then underwent a series of medical tests. Several top party leaders including Praful Patel, Sunil Tatkare, Nawab Malik and others, besides attending medicos, took pains to dispel all the “wild rumours” about Pawar and asserted that he was “extremely fit, fine and would be discharged in a day or so”.
Pawar, a three-time former chief minister of Maharashtra and union minister in the governments of then prime ministers P.V. Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh, is reportedly a contender for the post of president of India, for which elections are due mid-2017.