Lalu, 69, was admitted to AIIMS on March 29 with a “perianal abscess, high blood sugar, and infection”, according to the hospital. He was referred from Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi, to which he had been moved from Ranchi jail where he was serving a 14-year sentence handed down in march in one of the fodder scam cases.
During his month-long stay at AIIMS, Lalu’s treatment was monitored by an inter-disciplinary medical board of senior doctors from the departments of medicine, surgery, cardiology, endocrinology, and nephrology.
The board met on April 28 to review his progress and recommended his discharge on Saturday after finding ”marked improvement in his condition”. “He was therefore discharged on Saturday. However, he requested to be kept in hospital as he wanted to travel on Monday,” said a statement from AIIMS.
The RJD chief, in a letter to AIIMS, objected to his discharge. “I have been told that steps are afoot to relieve me from AIIMS. I was sent here for better treatment. I am still not well. I suffer from heart disease, kidney problem, sugar and other ailments. I have pain in the back and I often get giddiness. I fell in the bathroom quite a few times. My blood pressure and sugar suddenly jumps. My treatment is going on here,” he wrote.
He implied that medical authorities were acting under pressure, and warned, “All of you will be responsible if there is any danger to my life due to my transfer from AIIMS to RIMS.”
The discharge provoked Lalu’s supporters to rough up hospital staff and damage property, following which AIIMS asked Delhi Police to file an FIR against “8-10 unknown miscreants who misbehaved with the AIIMS staff and created nuisance in the hospital area. They also damaged the glass door of the cardio-thoracic lab, injuring security staff.”
In a statement, AIIMS reiterated there is a “significant and marked improvement” in Lalu’s medical condition. “His blood sugar was controlled and he was evaluated for cardiac and renal function. He showed significant improvement. He had no fever and his antibiotics were stopped. The medical board decided he was fit to be discharged,” said the statement. “However, due to his chronic problem of hypertension, diabetes, and backache, he was advised to be on regular follow up and management at RIMS Ranchi,” the statement said.
Before his discharge, Lalu met Congress president Rahul Gandhi at AIIMS on Monday morning for 30 minutes. A picture of the meeting was tweeted by RJD strategist, Sanjay Yadav, showing the leaders holding each other’s hands. It was soon retweeted by Prasad’s handle.
“True leaders know who they are and what they stand for,” read the caption of the picture.
RJD Rajya Sabha MP, Manoj Jha, termed the Rahul-Lalu meeting a ”new beginning”. “Time demands like-minded people to come on one platform. Laluji’s deteriorating health condition is a matter of utmost concern not only for his family but for everybody who wants him to be fit and active in 2019 elections. We believe Rahulji also shares the same concern.”
The BJP went on the offensive against Gandhi, with party president Amit Shah tweeting, “Rahul Gandhi tore off the ordinance brought by Manmohan Singh to save Lalu Yadav when in power but now goes to meet the convicted leader in fodder scam to take his support for the 2019 elections. This dual face of Rahul Gandhi is exposed.” His reference was the 2013 meeting where Gandhi tore up a proposed ordinance that sought to protect convicted lawmakers from disqualification.