Jaswant Singh, 76, was brought to the Army (Research and Referral) Hospital “in a highly critical condition” around 1 a.m. “with injury to his head”, the defence ministry said.
His family members “brought him to the hospital after finding him lying on the floor of the house in an unconscious state”, the brief statement said.
“Examination at the hospital showed him to be in coma, with signs of ‘raised intracranial tension and a haematoma scalp’.
“Urgent CT scan of the head showed ‘an acute subdural haematoma with mass effect, a midline shift and contusion of the brain substance’,” it said.
The statement said “a life-saving decompressive hemicraniectomy was done” on the veteran politician who quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before the Lok Sabha election this year after he was denied party ticket.
“At present (his) condition is very critical,” the statement said. “He is on life support systems and under constant monitoring by a team of neurosurgeons and critical care providers.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Jaswant Singh’s family and “prays for (his) speedy recovery”, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Born in Barmer in Rajasthan Jan 3, 1938, Jaswant Singh was one of the leading lights of the BJP and was a close associate of its stalwarts Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani.
After serving the Indian Army for nine years, Jaswant Singh went on to play a major role in Vajpayee-led governments. He was also widely seen as one of the BJP’s moderate faces.
He headed key ministries including the defence, finance and external affairs during the three times Vajpayee was prime minister: 1996, 1998-99 and 1999-2004.
He was elected to parliament nine times — four times to the Lok Sabha and five times to the Rajya Sabha.
Once Modi took virtual charge of the party ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Jaswant Singh got sidelined — and was denied party nomination to contest from Barmer. He fought as an independent and was defeated.