Ashok Gasti has been under treatment at a Bengaluru hospital since September 2
Rajya Sabha MP Ashok Gasti who is being treated at a hospital in Bengaluru after testing positive for coronavirus, remains in a critical condition with a multi-organ failure, said Dr Manish Rai, director, Manipal Hospitals on Thursday.
Dr Rai said Ashok Gasti had been admitted to the Manipal Hospital with severe Covid-19 pneumonia and was on life support system in the Intensive Care Unit.
The hospital statement was issued hours after Karnataka BJP leaders including Udupi Chikmagalur MP Shobha Karandlaje incorrectly announced his death earlier on Thursday.
News agency ANI said Karnataka health minister B Sriramulu made a similar announcement on Twitter. The twin announcements were followed by tweets by top BJP and government leaders to express their grief at the news.
The first indication that there was something amiss came from Rajya Sabha chairman and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.
Naidu spoke to the Karnataka government and the hospital and said that the newly-elected Rajya Sabha MP remains in critical condition.
The hospital’s health bulletin came soon after.
The BJP leader had taken oath as a Rajya Sabha MP on July 22 this year.
Ashok Gasti was admitted to the hospital on September 2 and is reported to have been suffering from breathing problems for the last few days.
Gasti, a lawyer, is credited with the expansion of the BJP in Raichur district of Karnataka. He has risen through the ranks as an activist of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and earlier in his political career, headed the Raichur BJP’s youth wing.