Gadkari leaves for Shirdi after fainting on stage in Maharashtra due to ‘low oxygen’

Mumbai: Union Minister for Shipping Nitin Gadkari fainted during a function in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district on Friday due to “low oxygen” and later, after taking rest, left for the Shirdi Sai Baba temple.

Gadkari fainted at the convocation of the Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth (MPKV) Agricultural University at Rahuri, while the national anthem was being sung. The 61-year-old BJP leader attributed the incident to low oxygen supply to his body as he was wearing convocation robes.

“I felt some suffocation during the event. The pandal (at the venue) was air-tight. I was wearing the robes of the convocation ceremony, that is why there was less oxygen. That is also why I fainted. My health is alright. (I have) no problem of blood pressure or sugar (now),” Gadkari told reporters.

Earlier, the minister had attributed the incident to ‘low sugar’ in his body.

“Had slight medical condition due to low sugar. I have been attended by doctors and I am doing well now. I thank all of you for all the well wishes,” Gadkari had tweeted shortly after the incident, after which he gave a detailed explanation to media.

A video grab of the event shows Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, who was standing beside him, supporting Gadkari after he fainted.

Gadkari was examined by a team of doctors present at the venue. His blood pressure was checked and he remained on his seat on stage for about 10 minutes, after which he walked to his vehicle.

A diabetic patient, Gadkari’s condition was stated as “stable” by his Bharatiya Janata Party colleagues.

Party colleagues said his gruelling daily schedules may have taken a toll on his health which resulted in his collapse.

After a short rest at the guest house, Gadkari took a helicopter ride to Shirdi to pray at the Sai Baba temple and later took a private flight to his hometown Nagpur.

Gadkari is known to maintain a stringent 18-hour schedule starting at 6 a.m. with yoga and his working day continues well past midnight.

(With agency inputs)