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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 April 2006, 08:58 GMT 09:58 UK
BJP politician 'still critical'
Pramod Mahajan
Mr Mahajan has played a key role in BJP reform
The condition of a senior leader of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party remains critical after he was shot on Saturday.

Doctors treating Pramod Mahajan, a former federal minister, say they are struggling to stop bleeding from his badly damaged liver.

His brother, Praveen, has been charged with attempted murder.

Doctors at Mumbai's (Bombay) Hinduja hospital say the next 48 hours will be crucial for Mr Mahajan.

'Bullets still in body'

A medical bulletin issued on Sunday said Pramod Mahajan, one of the BJP's general secretaries, was showing some signs of consciousness but his condition continued to be critical.

Doctors operated on him for four hours on Saturday. Three bullets are still lodged in his chest and lower abdomen.

Reports say his younger brother, Praveen, fired at him from close range in Pramod's Mumbai apartment because of a family dispute.

Praveen's lawyer has said he is mentally unstable but Mumbai police commissioner AN Roy says the accused "seemed normal" when being interrogated.

Police say the incident happened between 0730 and 0800 (0200-0230GMT) on Saturday.

Three shots were allegedly fired by Praveen Mahajan from his licensed revolver.

Mr Mahajan's security did not prevent Praveen entering the BJP leader's 15th floor flat in Mumbai because he was his brother, police say.

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and industrialist brothers Mukesh and Anil Ambani were among those who visited him in hospital on Saturday evening.

The BBC's Zubair Ahmed in Mumbai says Mr Mahajan is a popular BJP leader with friends in all parties and walks of life.

Even though he lacks a grassroots base, his organisational skills have often been used by the BJP.

Our correspondent says Mr Mahajan has played a pivotal role in modernising the BJP.

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