PM Modi Visits Arun Jaitley Who Wants To Opt Out Of Government

In a letter to PM Modi, Arun Jaitley had said he will "not be part of any responsibility, for the present, in the new government" because of his health.

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Arun Jaitley wrote to PM Modi that he was under doctors' orders to take care of his health. (File)


New Delhi: 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday drove to senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley's house to ask him to reconsider his decision and remain in the government, sources have told NDTV. The meeting lasted nearly 25 minutes and PM Modi enquired about Mr Jaitley health, news agency PTI reported, quoting officials. Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Jaitley had written to the Prime Minister, excusing himself from any responsibility in the coming months, saying he was under doctors' orders to take care of his health. 

Specific details about the meeting were not known immediately. Neither Mr Jaitley nor his office immediately commented on the meet.

In a letter to PM Modi, a copy of which Mr Jaitley also tweeted, he had said he will "not be part of any responsibility, for the present, in the new government" because of his 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," Mr Jaitley wrote.

Mr Jaitley, 66, said he had faced "some serious health challenges" in the last 18 months.

The senior BJP leader signed off by saying he would "obviously" have a lot of time to take up any work "informally" to support the government or the party.

Mr Jaitley, who is one of the top three leaders in the BJP and the government, after PM Modi and party president Amit Shah, was not seen at the celebrations at BJP headquarters on Thursday night. 

He has not been seen in public for at least two weeks but has been publishing blogs and messages on social media.

Amid rumours about his health over the past few days, Mr Jaitley had appeared in several photos of his meetings with officials and others.

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RBI governor Shaktikanta Das had posted a photo with Arun Jaitley earlier this week.

Mr Jaitley, a lawyer-turned politician, has always been among the BJP's chief troubleshooters. In the past five years, he has steered major economic legislation and has also defended controversial policies for the government.

PM Modi had given Mr Jaitley charge of three ministries when he first took office in 2014 -- finance, defence and information and broadcasting.

Mr Jaitley's health issues became worse after he had a kidney transplant in May last year. A diabetic, he also had to skip the interim budget in February when he was in hospital in the US for treatment.



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