Jaitley opts out of new Modi Cabinet, cites health reasons

Jaitley opts out of new Modi Cabinet, cites health reasons

New Delhi, May 29: Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, opted out of the new Council of Ministers to be sworn in on May 30, citing health issues.
In the four-paragraph letter, Jaitley said he had orally informed Modi about his desire not to be a part of the new BJP government. He said that even though he was able to participate in the election campaign and carry out the duties assigned to him but now he would “like to keep away from any responsibility” in order to “concentrate on my treatment and health.”
“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,” Jaitley said in the letter.
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Jaitley, a lawyer-turned politician, is one of the most important leaders in the current cabinet. He often acts as chief troubleshooter.
In the past five years, Jaitley has steered through parliament major economic legislation such as a nationwide goods and services tax – which had languished for nearly two decades – and has defended controversial policies for the government.
Modi had given him the responsibility of three ministries when he first took office in 2014, finance, defence and information and broadcasting ministries.
A diabetic, Jaitley’s health issues became worse after he had a kidney transplant in May last year. He also had to skip the interim budget in February when he was in hospital in the United States reportedly getting treatment for soft tissue cancer.