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   I understand that on his way back from Banglore to Delhi... (November 10, 1990)

I understand that on his way back from Banglore to Delhi, Dr. Rajiv Gandhi stopped over in Bombay for a few hours and called on Mr. Sharad Pawar.

One look at Mr. Pawar and Dr.Gandhi said: "What's the matter, you are not looking your usual robust self. Are you ill?"

"No, no," said Mr. Pawar, "I am in the best of heath. Dr. B.K. Goyal just checked my heart, Dr. Shishir Kumar my diabetes and Dr. Kirit Mody my eyes, and they have all said there is nothing wrong with me."

"What do these doctors know," said Dr. Gandhi. "They did not even know when Veerendra Patil had a paralytic stroke and had become completely unfit to continue as chief minister. Here, let me examine you."

"But there is no need to examine me, I have no stroke. I tell you there is no history of stroke in my family," Mr. Pawar said. "However, if you still insist, I can go to Hinduja and have a CAT scan."

"These CAT scans show nothing," Dr. Gandhi said. "Let me just get my stethescope out and hear your heartbeat. I will tellyou in a jiffy whether you can continue as chief minister or whether we will have to replace you."

"Why should I be replaced! I am physically fit, mentally alert, I have got the support of the people and the legislators, except a few. And I will settle them."

"Let us not bring politics into this," Dr. Gandhi said. "Right now our concern is your health, and since you are not well and in fact very ill, with serious complications, you have to be replaced. I will announce it to the press right away."

"Wait, wait," said Mr. Pawar. "If you must have me medically examined, then I suggest that you ask the governor to examine me. Whatever his diagnosis, I will accept."

"I don't think we can ask Mr. Subramaniam to examine you, he is not medically qualified to do so." Dr. Gandhi said. "Let me feel your pulse… Yes, you have a paralystic stroke, your body motors is stopping, your limbs are getting stiff, your responses are getting slower, your speech is slurred."

"All right, all right," Mr. Pawar said. "But if I am not fit to be a chief minister, then who is?"

"I cannot say off-hand," Dr. Gandhi said. "However, I am summoning Sushilkumar Shinde for a medical examination."

 
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