Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley has confirmed that he will not join the new Modi government that will be sworn-in on Thursday. Jaitley was handling the crucial Finance portfolio in the previous Modi government. In a letter written to Narendra Modi, Jaitley has formally requested the Prime Minister to relieve him and be allowed time for treatment. Jaitley’s health has been on a decline ever since he underwent a kidney transplant in May last year.
“I am writing to you to formally request you that I should be allowed a reasonable time for myself, my treatment and my health and, therefore, not be a part of any responsibility, for the present, in the new government,” he said.
I have today written a letter to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, a copy of which I am releasing: pic.twitter.com/8GyVNDcpU7
— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) May 29, 2019
Jaitley’s letter to PM comes amid speculation that he may not join the new government due to poor health. The 66-year-old politician and a key strategist of the BJP, is keeping unwell for more than a year now. He has not been attending office for the past one month. Also, Jaitley did not attend the last Cabinet meeting of the outgoing Modi government and celebrations at the BJP headquarters last week after the declaration of Lok Sabha elections results. However, he went to the his office in the North Block for a customary meeting with the staff. This was his last public appearance.
Jaitley added that he will, however, continue to extend his services to the party and government whenever needed.
“I would obviously have a lot of time at my disposal to undertake any work informally to support the government or the party,” he said in his letter.
Jaitley was recently admitted to the AIIMS, Delhi but was later discharged. In May last year, he had undergone a renal transplant surgery.
Earlier on Sunday, the government said that reports on the deteriorating health of Jaitley are false and baseless.