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Posted at: May 26, 2019, 8:28 PM; last updated: May 26, 2019, 8:28 PM (IST)

Reports of deteriorating health of Jaitley false, baseless: Govt

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das calls on him in courtesy meeting
Reports of deteriorating health of Jaitley false, baseless: Govt
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das. @DasShaktikanta

New Delhi, May 26

The government on Sunday said reports on the deteriorating health of outgoing Finance Minister Arun Jaitley are false and baseless, and media should stay clear of rumour mongering.

Amid speculations on the state of Jaitley’s health, government spokesperson Sitanshu Kar took to Twitter to clear the air.

“Reports in a section of media regarding Union Minister Shri Arun Jaitley’s health condition are false and baseless. Media is advised to stay clear of rumour mongering,” government spokesperson Sitanshu Kar tweeted.

Jaitley’s college friend and media baron Rajat Sharma as well as Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta also rejected reports on deteriorating health of the senior BJP leader.  

Dasgupta tweeted that he met Jaitley on Sunday afternoon and presented a copy of his book to him. In another tweet, he said, “Actually he is off all medication now. Just recovering his strength and working as usual. He is still meeting officials.”       

“Questions about @arunjaitley health understandable. He is recovering from a bout of heavy medication. But he is still in terrific form and his wit is firmly intact. Needs a little rest to get back his strength. All our good wishes,” the MP tweeted.

Meanwhile, Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das called on Jaitley here on Sunday.

The governor in a tweet said that it was a courtesy meeting.

“Had a courtesy meeting with Hon’ble Union Minister @arunjaitley this evening,” Das tweeted while posting a picture of the meeting.

Doctors treating Jaitley have advised him to go to the UK or the US for treatment, sources said.

Jaitley, whose health has been on a decline ever since he underwent a kidney transplant in May last year, will take a call in the next few days on the issue.

He has not attended office for the last three weeks and has rarely been seen in public. He, however, has been writing blogs and tweeted on Modi’s victory on Thursday.

He neither attended the Cabinet meeting called Friday that recommended dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha, nor the Saturday meeting of the BJP parliamentary party that elected Modi as its leader.

Sources said that he, however, met all the five secretaries in his ministries at his residence on Friday in what was described as a routine meeting.

A lawyer by profession, he has been the most important leader in Modi’s Cabinet and has often acted as the chief troubleshooter for the government.

He had undergone surgery in the US on January 22 for a reported soft tissue cancer in his left leg, an illness that deprived him from presenting the Modi government’s sixth and final budget of its current term.

Railway and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal was the stand-in finance minister who presented the interim budget for 2019-20.

Jaitley had returned to India on February 9 after undergoing skin grafting. He is believed to have had undergone some kind of a medical procedure again when he last month visited the US to attend the IMF-World Bank Group Spring Meetings.

Jaitley had undergone renal transplant on May 14 last year at AIIMS, New Delhi, with Goyal filling in for him at that time too. Jaitley, who had stopped attending office since early April 2018, was back in the Finance Ministry on August 23, 2018.

Earlier in September 2014, he underwent bariatric surgery to correct the weight he had gained because of a long-standing diabetic condition. — PTI

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