Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar has cancelled all his appointments and will be admitted to Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital on March 31 after doctors detected a problem in his gallbladder, party leader Nawab Malik said on Monday.

Malik said that Pawar had been feeling “a little uneasy” all of Sunday evening due to abdominal pain. Soon after, he was taken to the Breach Candy Hospital for a check-up.

“Upon diagnosis it came to light that he has a problem in his gallbladder,” the NCP leader added. “He will be admitted in hospital on the 31st of March 2021 and an endoscopy and surgery will be conducted.”

Doctors also discontinued the blood thinning medication Pawar had been receiving based on their diagnosis, Malik said. “Hence, all his programmes stand cancelled until further notice,” he added.

The announcement came amid speculation that Pawar met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday to discuss the corruption allegations against NCP leader and Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, according to India Today.

But Malik denied this, and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of spreading rumours. “A newspaper in Gujarat published a piece of news that Pawar sahib [sir] and Praful Patel met Amit Shah,” he said, according to ANI. “For the last two days, rumors are being spread on Twitter. No such meeting took place.”

Shah, on the other hand, neither confirmed nor denied if he met the NCP chief. The BJP leader, while speaking to reporters in Ahmedabad, said that “everything cannot be made public”.

The Sharad Pawar-led NCP is a member of the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government in Maharashtra that is in the throes of a political crisis, which started after a vehicle laden with explosives was found near the house of industrialist Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai.

Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, who was suspended from his position for his alleged mishandling of the case, has accused Anil Deshmukh of extorting monthly sums of Rs 100 crore from bars and hotels in the city.

In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Singh said he recieved this information from Sachin Vaze, a senior Mumbai police officer, who was arrested on March 13 by the National Investigation Agency in connection with the bomb threat case. Singh had also accused the home minister of frequently interfering with police investigations in various cases.

Deshmukh denied impropriety, saying that purported meetings with Vaze last month were impossible as he was in hospital with Covid-19 and then in quarantine. But the BJP has contested this claim, saying it had proof that Deshmukh was lying.

The BJP had also demanded the resignation of Deshmukh. However, the NCP has said that there was no need for the minister to resign. Amid the crisis in Maharashtra, all eyes are on Pawar and the steps he might take to keep his party in power.

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