- Nitin Gadkari was at the convocation of an agricultural university
- A video shows him looking unwell as he stands for the anthem
- "I am doing well now," Mr Gadkari tweeted later
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari fainted during a public event in Maharashtra on Friday because of "suffocation" from convocation robes, in his own words.
Nitin Gadkari was at the convocation of an agricultural university in Ahmednagar district, on his feet for the national anthem, when he fainted on stage.
"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)," Mr Gadkari told reporters.
Earlier, he had tweeted that he had low sugar. "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," he posted.
A video shows the minister looking unwell as he stands for the anthem, falling as those around him grab hold of him.
Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and officials helped the 61-year-old minister up and sat him down on his chair. Mr Gadkari was examined by doctors and he remained on the stage for 10 minutes.
The minister's aide said he is back to his regular schedule. He left for Shirdi soon after the episode and visited the famous Sai baba temple before flying back to his hometown Nagpur. At the airport there he said he had vertigo due to extreme heat and suffocation. "I got vertigo due to extreme heat and suffocation during the programme. My blood pressure and blood sugar are normal. Because of this incident a lot of party workers are worried, but there is no need to worry. As per the doctor's advice, I will be undergoing certain medical check-ups," hesaid.
Fellow Maharashtra politician Sharad Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party leader, tweeted wishing Mr Gadkari good health.
Sometimes hard work takes a toll on health! @nitin_gadkari ji please take care. I wish you a very good health!!- Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) December 7, 2018
Mr Gadkari is the union minister for road transport and highways, as well as shipping, water resources and Ganga.
His visit to Goa on December 10 to inaugurate a bridge has been cancelled, state minister Sudin Dhavalikar was quoted as telling the Press Trust of India. "I have received communication from Gadkari's office that he has a meeting in the national capital on December 10. Also, due to his health condition, he will not be able to come to Goa," Dhavalikar told PTI.
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