Speculations on Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s health gained fresh momentum after he failed to take oath of office in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
The 65-year-old minister is reported to be suffering from renal failure and may have to travel abroad for kidney transplant, reported website The Wire. A report by National Herald said that Jaitley, who underwent bariatric surgery three years ago, took a long time to recover from it. Suffering from acute diabetes, he has not been keeping in the best of health.
The news dominated the conversations among the political class in Delhi on Wednesday with even his political adversaries expressing deep concern about the finance minister’s health. However, no one was willing to go on record with comments on Jaitley’s health. Only on Tuesday, was Jaitley once again appointed as the Leader of the Rajya Sabha following his re-election to the Upper House from Uttar Pradesh in the just-concluded elections.
The report of Jaitley’s poor health has come just weeks after Goa Chief Minister and former defence minister in the Narendra Modi’s cabinet, Manohar Parrikar, was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.
Parrikar flew to the US in March and is still undergoing treatment there. On 26 March, a report by PTI said that Parrikar was to begin his second phase of treatment at a hospital in the United States.
Jaitley’s ill-health, according to analysts, will be extremely bad news for the BJP in the crucial election year, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks re-election to office. Known for wielding considerable clout in the media, his absence will adversely impact the poll preparation for the saffron party.