Citing ill-health, Arun Jaitley opts out of ministerial position

Former Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has ended all speculation over his health and inclusion in the new Cabinet by writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he is opting out of any ministerial position.

The letter, released by Mr. Jaitley on social media, makes it clear that his health requires his full attention.

The new Council of Ministers is scheduled to be sworn in on Thursday evening.

Due to his ill health, Mr. Jaitley could not present the last budget — the honours was done by caretaker Finance Minister Piyush Goyal.

Mr. Jaitley was absent at the celebrations held at the party headquarters in New Delhi on May 23 when the results of the 17th general election were out, and as well as at the National Democratic Alliance’s parliamentary party meet on May 25.

Well-wishers of Mr. Jaitley and colleagues like RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das had met him at his residence in the last few days.

“I am writing to you to formally request you that I should be allowed reasonable time to myself, my treatment and my health, and therefore not be part of any responsibility, for the present, in the new government,” wrote Mr. Jaitley to Mr. Modi.

Apart from handling the Finance and the Corporate Affairs Ministries, Mr. Jaitley had, at various stages in the last five years, handled Defence and Information and Broadcasting portfolios as well. While no word is out on who would get the Finance portfolio now, Mr. Goyal appears to be the front runner for the post as of now.

Mr. Jaitley is the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 5:28:47 AM |

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