New Delhi: Union finance minister in the previous Narendra Modi government, Arun Jaitley has written a letter to the prime minister-designate, requesting the latter to excuse him from any responsibility during the formation of the council of ministers of the new government.
The new government is slated to be sworn into the office on 30 May at 7 PM, where President Ram Nath Kovind will administer the oath of office and that of secrecy to Modi and his choice of ministers.
Jaitley wrote in the letter, “It was a great honour and a learning experience for me to have been a part of the Government led by you for the past five years. Even earlier, the Party had blessed me with responsibilities in the first NDA Government, in the Party organisation and also while we were in the Opposition. I could not have asked for more.”
After expressing his gratitude, the outgoing finance minister wrote, “During the last eighteen months, I have had some serious health challenges. My doctors have enabled me to emerge out of most of them. After the campaign had concluded and you were leaving for Kedarnath, I had orally informed you that even though I was able to discharge the responsibilities assigned to me during the campaign, I would in future, for some time, like to keep away from any responsibility. This will enable me to concentrate on my treatment and health. The BJP and the NDA, under your leadership, have secured a spectacular win. The new Government would be sworn in tomorrow.”
Jaitley concluded, “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.”
“I would obviously have a lot of time at my disposal to undertake any work informally to support the Government or the Party,” the caretaker finance minister wrote.
Other than undergoing bariatric surgery early in the tenure of the previous government, on 14 May 2018, Jaitley, who had been suffering from kidney complications, was operated upon for kidney transplant at the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
In January 2019, Jaitley was diagnosed with a rare form of soft-tissue sarcoma. He is seeking treatment for this from medical facilities in New York. He underwent a related surgery here in India. There was no need for chemotherapy and radiotherapy because the tumour was detected at an early stage.