India – As KCR sinks, Andhra braces for Telangana upsurge
HYDERABAD: As TRS leader K Chandrashekhar Rao’s health teetered precariously and doctors on Tuesday warned of the worst, supporters of the separate
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Telangana cause — the fasting leader’s sole political platform — prepared to raise the campaign pitch, threatening to plunge Andhra Pradesh into chaos.
The medical team monitoring a sinking KCR at the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences declared that the 55-year-old Telangana protagonist was critical. “If he does not break his fast immediately, his life is at risk,” NIMS director Dr Prasada Rao said. On hearing the news, Rao’s family members and TRS workers requested him to end his fast, but he remained adamant, sending the state government into a tizzy over the possibility of widespread violence in the event of his death.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who returned from his three-day Russia trip late on Tuesday, is expected to call a meeting of Congress leaders on Wednesday to discuss the developments in Andhra Pradesh and make an appeal for peace.
So far, 17 Telangana supporters have committed suicide to be counted as martyrs to the cause of a separate state as protests have engulfed several university campuses, including Hyderabad’s Osmania. Authorities ordered some hostels evacuated to cap protests as police clashed with demonstrators.
A panicky government on Tuesday rushed in nine battalions of Rapid Action Force from Delhi as reports surfaced of the Joint Action Committee of students amassing huge mobs and appealing to supporters of TRS to gather in Hyderabad. Inspector general of police A R Anuradha said police were keeping a close watch on campuses and would set up barriers to check vehicles from Wednesday.
Protest leaders, who have called for a major surge on December 10, said they would not be cowed down.
“We are working out various strategies to ensure our cadres are not stopped on the borders of the neighbouring districts. Our rally will be peaceful, I assure you,” said TRS leader Harish Rao, a nephew of the fasting party chief.
Rao’s personal physician and doctors at NIMS said after fasting for 10 days, KCR had developed protein malnutrition, indicated by the dipping protein levels in his blood. Dr Prasad Rao described KCR’s condition as “serious” and that it had reached a “problematic stage”. The NIMS director added that KCR’s continued fast could lead to irreversible damage to his health. “KCR is not cooperating with the doctors for his treatment. In case of protein reduction, we become clueless as to how the body will behave. We have come to a unanimous decision that he should end the fast immediately. We have also appealed to him to break the fast,” Dr Rao said.
Doctors explained that given KCR’s diabetic condition, even total parental nutrition which was administered to him intravenously was insufficient. “He has diabetes and has been fasting. The fat in the body gets used in such a case and total parental nutrition can’t take care of the nutrients the body derives from regular food,” said a senior doctor, adding that a vicious cycle of complications could surface in such situations.
KCR’s pulse rate, blood pressure and respiration were normal. But doctors said that these parameters did not indicate he was healthy.
“We need his cooperation for timely and planned treatment and also to conduct mandatory tests. While the medical team has been artificially propping up his health, it has its own repercussions over a period of time. He has lost weight,” said Dr Rao.
When KCR was admitted to NIMS on December 3, the total protein content in his blood was 6.1g per decilitre (dl). It dropped to 5g per dl on December 7. His albumin level has come down from 4.1g to 3.3g. Specialists say that the albumin content should not go down below 3.5g. Doctors strongly advised KCR to start eating and reduce his dependence on the IV fluids.
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