Jaitley discharged from AIIMS


PTI, May 23, 2019, 3:26 PM IST

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was Thursday discharged from AIIMS where he was admitted for at least one day for treatment of an undisclosed illness.

Jaitley, 66, has not been attending office for about three weeks now and was admitted to AIIMS for undergoing tests and treatment for an undisclosed illness, sources said.

A lawyer by profession, he has been the most important leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet and has often acted as the chief troubleshooter for the government. He is widely tipped to return as a minister in the second term of the Modi government but his health remains a key concern.

While as Finance Minister he has steered through parliament major economic legislations such as the nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST) — which had languished for nearly two decades, he has also played key role in getting through several other laws such as the bill to ban the Muslim instant divorce practice known as ‘triple talaq’.

One of the most prolific voices in the Modi government and a key strategist, Jaitley did not contest the current Lok Sabha elections presumably because of his ill health.

He lost his first parliamentary election from Amritsar in 2014 — a loss which was considered one dark cloud in the BJP’s largely blue sky that year.

Suave and articulate, he has been the party’s spokesperson for many years. He came to parliament at the age of 47 when he was nominated to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat, where Modi was the chief minister.

Jaitley was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and when Modi swept to power in 2014, he was made the finance minister and also handled the additional charge of defence and information and broadcasting ministries for a short time.

He had undergone surgery in the US on January 22 for a reported soft tissue cancer in his left leg, an illness that led to him not being able to present the Modi government’s sixth and final budget of its current term.

Railway and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal was the stand-in finance minister who presented the interim budget for 2019-20.

Jaitley had returned to India on February 9 after undergoing skin grafting. He is believed to had undergone some kind of a medical procedure again when he last month visited the US to attend the IMF-World Bank Group Spring Meetings.

Jaitley had undergone renal transplant on May 14 last year at AIIMS, New Delhi, with Goyal filling in for him at that time too. Jaitley, who had stopped attending office since early April 2018, was back in the finance ministry on August 23, 2018.

Earlier in September 2014, he underwent bariatric surgery to correct the weight he had gained because of a long-standing diabetic condition.

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