Defence Minister collapses at NDA parade; fine now

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Pune, May 31 (UNI) Defence Minister A K Antony, who collapsed while reviewing the Passing Out Parade (POP) of the 114th batch of the National Defence Academy (NDA) here this morning, is presently fine, sources said.

Addressing a press conference, NDA Commandant T S Randhawa said the minister had ''restricted the period of rest'', then a long parade and yesterday's programmes till late night that probably left him exhausted and caused the giddiness.

The Minister had just finished his speech exhorting the cadets to dedicate themselves to the nation and promise a materially better life, when he fainted.

Giving details about his condition, Medical Officer, Military Hospital, Khadakvasla, Col. Deepak Bahadur informed Mr Antony had a black out and was administered oral fluids as part of resuscitation and two electric cardiograms had been taken.

''Both the ECG's are normal and his blood pressure is also normal. There is no reason for apprehension as the Raksha Mantri is all right. This could have happened due to the hectic schedule, a lot of deep exhaustion and standing in the sun. The cardiologists have carried out blood tests, and he is being monitored,'' Col Bahadur said.

He also informed they were in touch with Gen Matthews at the ''R&R'' Hospital, New Delhi.''Our line of treatment is ok, we have received all information about his earlier medical history. The minister will be shifted to the Cardio-Thoracic Centre (CTC) on the doctors advice.'' To a query, Col Bahadur said it may take 3-4 hours for the minister to be referred to the CTC.

The Defence Minister had just about returned from Berlin after witnessing the air-show. After a hectic travelling schedule, the minister had no time to rest before the POP at the NDA.

UNI DWN GR ATI RN1205

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