Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who left for the US on Sunday for medical treatment, may not be back in India to present what could be his last budget on 1 February. This is because Jaitley has reportedly developed another serious medical emergency, which requires urgent surgery. A report by The Wire website said that Arun Jaitley was in the US for the treatment of ‘soft tissue cancer in his thigh, a type of tumour which can spread to other parts of the body quickly.’
An earlier report by news agency PTI had said that the finance minister had left for the US for the treatment of his kidney ailment.
His sudden visit to the US assumes significance in light of this year’s budget that he is scheduled to present in the parliament on 1 February. Although, this will be the interim budget because of the Lok Sabha polls, this could be the last budget for him as the finance minister and his party’s government if the BJP fails to return to power after this year’s parliamentary elections.
The latest revelation on Jaitley’s health is worrying since the minister had undergone as kidney transplant only last year and any decision to go for further surgeries and chemotherapy will be complicated.
Jaitley hasn’t visited abroad for nine months since undergoing a renal transplant surgery in May last year. Last year, Jaitley was scheduled to attend the 10th India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue in London but had to cancel his visit due to his kidney ailment. In his absence, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal was given the Finance portfolio. Four years ago, the 66-year-old politician had undergone a bariatric surgery, which he reportedly took a long time to recover from it. Suffering from acute diabetes, he has not been keeping in the best of health.
Jaitley leaving India for medical check-up isn’t the only worrying development for the Centre’s Narendra Modi government. Another key union minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, has been admitted in All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the pulmonary medicine department.
An AIIMS source was quoted by Times of India as saying, “He (Ravi Shankar Prasad) is under observation.”
According to the AIIMS authorities, 64-year-old Ravi Shankar Prasad arrived at the AIIMS around 8 pm and was admitted in the pulmonary medicine department.
Another senior BJP leader and former Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February last year. Parrikar was made the chief minister of Goa before he was diagnosed with cancer.