Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has abruptly left for the US for treatment of his kidney ailment. Quoting sources, a news report by PTI said that Jaitley left for the US on Sunday night.
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 Lok Sabha polls.
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.