Jaitley ill, off to US for check-up

Jaitley ill, off to US for check-up

Arun Jaitley

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley suddenly left for the United States on Sunday reportedly for a medical check-up relating to his kidney ailment.

News website The Wire reported that he flew to New York for treatment of soft tissue cancer in his thigh. There was, however, no confirmation of the same from Jaitley’s office. Sources said he would be back by this weekend.

This is Jaitley’s first overseas visit since his kidney ailment was confirmed last April.

Jaitley (66) had a kidney transplant operation and follow-up check-ups at AIIMS last year and returned as finance minister on August 23 last year. He had undergone bariatric surgery in 2014.

As news of Jaitley’s US visit spread, there was confusion over who will present the Modi government’s vote on account.

At a media briefing, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal refused to answer questions on who will present the vote on account since Jaitley has gone abroad. A finance ministry official separately said, “FM is expected to be back by this weekend. Therefore, no one else has been given charge of the Ministry for this period.”

Congress president Rahul Gandhi sent his and his party’s best wishes to Jaitley.

Only last week, Jaitley was named the publicity head of the BJP for the general elections.

He is also slated to present the BJP-led NDA government’s sixth and last Budget on February 1, which will be an interim Budget, seeking Parliament’s approval for government spending for the first four months of the 2019-20 fiscal year beginning April.

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