Jaitley drops NaMo a letter, asks time-off from Parliamentary responsibilities to focus on health

Last Updated: Wed, May 29, 2019 21:49 hrs
Arun Jaitley Health

New Delhi:Arun Jaitley, the ace lawyer turned politician, according to a letter publicized on Wednesday, has informed PM Narendra Modi that he would like to stay away from "any responsibility" in the Modi government's second term in office.

With this letter, Jaitley has ended all speculation at the Finance Ministry. The minister said that he was stepping down from his responsibilities and would focus on getting his health back on track.

Jaitley, 66 took to micro-blogging site Twitter revealing that he had decided to step away from responsibilities. He cited health reasons for the decision, saying that being away will help him concentrate on his health and treatment.

Jaitley said, "I have today written a letter to the Hon'ble Prime Minister, a copy of which I am releasing." In the tweet, he also said that he had spoken verbally to the Prime Minister and informed him about staying away from any responsibility"for some time" in the future.

In the four-paragraphs contained in the letter, Jaitley said that it had been an "honour" and a "learning experience" to be part of the Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government. He also said that in the last year-and-a-half, he's had some "serious health challenges".

"My doctors have enabled me to emerge out of most of them," Jaitley's letter read.

"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 part of any responsibility, for the present, in the new government," Jaitley said, adding that he would "undertake any work informally to support" the government or the party.

Here is the tweet:

The lawyer-turned politician has been an integral part of the BJP and has widely been called as among the chief troubleshooters. After being elected in 2014, the Modi government gave Jaitley the charge of Finance, Defence, and Information & Broadcasting ministries.

The letter ends the speculation as to who would chair over the Finance Ministry. The seasoned lawyer had undergone a kidney transplant surgery sometime in May last year. But it turned into a major scare since he was also a diabetic. The post-operative treatment had forced Jaitley from attending the Parliamentary session during the interim Budget announcement in February. In fact, the interim Union budget was announced by Railways Minister Piyush Goyal.

Jaitley's abstinence and sudden absence for the past two weeks had set rumour-mills ablaze. But, he had been active in posting blogs and messages on Facebook and Twitter.

Late on Wednesday night, media reports said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Jaitley at his residence. The meeting went on for nearly half an hour. According to an ANI report, sources said that the PM may have asked Jaitley to reconsider his decision and remain in government.

It is also widely speculated that the PM may have asked Jaitley to remain in the Cabinet without a ministerial berth.

Meanwhile, here are some discussions from Twitter so far:

So far neither Finance Ministry nor PMO have revealed on the next action. It is also widely speculated that Piyush Goyal could be handed the responsibility.