"People here are shocked to hear this news. He is one of the top leaders of the state," said R.K. Singh, a resident of Barmer.
Jaswant Singh, 76, was taken to the Army (Research and Referral) Hospital in New delhi "in a highly critical condition" around 1 a.m. "with injury to his head", the defence ministry said Friday.
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.
"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."
Back home, prayers and yagnas are being organised in various places in Barmer district after the news came in.
Jaswant Singh hails from Jasol in the district.
"Prayers are being organised in temples and mosques in Barmer, Balotra and Jasol for his well being. We our sure our leader will soon be hale and hearty," said Mahendra Singh, a local entrepreneur.
In some of the places, particularly Jasol, women with tears in their eyes were seen gathered at temples to pray for Singh's well being.
"He came from our area, we have special attachment with him," said another resident Santosh Kumari.
She said they became closer to Singh after he fought the 2014 general elections from Barmer as an independent candidate.
"He is a fighter and will certainly come out of this soon," she said.
Singh was expected to visit Barmer to attend a function Aug 13.
After being denied a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket, he fought the Lok Sabha polls as an independent candidate, but lost by a big margin to BJP's Colonel Sonaram.