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Arun Jaitley opts out of new Modi govt, cites health reasons

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jaitley made a "formal" request to not be given any responsibility in the new government so that he can concentrate on his "treatment" and "health."

Written by Sunny Verma | New Delhi |
Updated: May 29, 2019 6:01:04 pm
Arun Jaitley, Arun Jaitley health, Aeun Jaitley Modi cabinet, Arun Jaitley new portfolio, Arun Jaitley health conditions, Narendra Modi, Modi cabinet, Modi new cabinet Outgoing Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at Parliament. (Express photo: Renuka Puri)

A day before the swearing-in ceremony of the new government, former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Wednesday said he has decided not to take any active responsibility in the new government citing his poor health. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jaitley requested that he should not be assigned any responsibility, for the present, in the government.

Adding that he has been suffering from ailments for the past 18 months, Jaitley said he had spoken to the prime minister before his Kedarnath trip about his plans to opt out of the new cabinet.

“After my 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 near future, for some time, like to keep away from any responsibility. This will enable me to concentrate on my treatment and health,” his letter read.

“During the last eighteen months, I have had some serious health challenges… 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,” according to the letter, which Jaitley posted on his twitter account.

Arun Jaitley also added that while doctors have enabled him to come out of most of his “serious health challenges,” he would still want some time off. He will, however, be available to undertake any work “informally” to support the government, the letter read.

Jaitley, who has not been attending office since last three weeks, met key officials of Finance Ministry on Friday. He had held a review meeting with the five secretaries of Finance Ministry on Friday, where he is learnt to have taken a stock of the economic situation and also approved an extension for the panel to review direct tax law. But he kept away from key party meetings recently.

Arun Jaitley, Arun Jaitley health, Aeun Jaitley Modi cabinet, Arun Jaitley new portfolio, Arun Jaitley health conditions, Narendra Modi, Modi cabinet, Modi new cabinet RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das met with Arun Jaitley, in New Delhi on Sunday. (Via Twitter)

After a few of Jaitley’s pictures raised rumours over his health condition, the BJP played down the reports calling them “false and baseless”. “Reports in a section of media regarding Union Minister Arun Jaitley’s health condition are false and baseless. Media is advised to stay clear of rumour mongering,” government spokesperson Sitanshu Kar posted on Twitter.

Ahead of the swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, both Modi and Shah held marathon meeting lasting around five hours to decide on the new cabinet.

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