Former Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he will "not be part of any responsibility, for the present, in the new government. He cited to his health issues as a reason for the action. He tweeted a copy of his letter to PM Modi, a day before his oath ceremony on Thursday.
Mr. Jaitley, 66, said he had faced "some serious health challenges" in the last 18 months.
He tweeted the copy of the letter with the caption:
I have today written a letter to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, a copy of which I am releasing
Jaitley is one of the top three leaders in the BJP and the government, after PM Modi and party president Amit Shah. He wasn’t seen at the celebrations at BJP headquarters on Thursday night. Both PM Modi and Mr. Shah gave victory speeches at the event.
He hasn’t even been seen in public for at least two weeks but has been publishing blogs and messages on social media.
Amidst rumours about his health over the past couple of days, Jaitley appeared in several photos of his meetings with officials and others. Jaitley is a former lawyer and has always been among the BJP's chief troubleshooters. In the previous term, he has steered major economic legislation and also defended controversial policies for the government. Modi had given him charge of three ministries when he first took over the office in 2014 -- finance, defence and information, and broadcasting.
His health issues became worse after he had a kidney transplant in May 2018. A diabetic, he also had to skip the interim budget in February when he was in hospital in the US for treatment.