A photograph of NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal has gone viral because of the stark change in his appearance. The former deputy CM of Maharashtra is seen sitting on a wheelchair, while reportedly waiting for a CT scan at the St George’s Hospital in Mumbai.
Bhujbal, who is one of the state’s richest and powerful politicians, was arrested in a corruption case over a month ago, but had been admitted in the hospital since the past week when he complained of a toothache. According to media reports, the 68-year-old was supposed to be taken to a dental hospital but was sent to St George’s instead, where he complained of a chest pain.
A diabetic, who also suffers from high blood pressure, Bhujbal is a far cry from his previously robust self, and looks very frail, dishevelled, slumped in a wheel chair and dressed in a crumpled white shirt and trousers, in the image that is currently doing the rounds on the Internet. He is said to have lost around 10kg since his arrest on March 14.
The Nationalist Congress Party leader, who would otherwise always be seen sporting a dashing muffler (despite the high Mumbai temperature), had a reputation for being an outspoken, daredevil and fearless leader. During his political career, he had served as Minister of Home Affairs and Public Works in the state. The recent picture shows the vulnerable side of a person otherwise known for his dynamism — which is probably why it’s elicited such shocked reactions.