Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das today met BJP leader and Union Minister Arun Jaitley in a visit he later described as a "courtesy" call. The visit comes amidst speculation that Mr Jaitley's continuing health problems will prevent him from returning as Finance Minister for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's second term.
Mr Jaitley, 66, suffers from kidney problems and underwent a transplant in 2018. He was then operated on in the United States in January, reportedly for soft tissue cancer in his left leg, an illness that prevented him from being able to present the Modi government's sixth budget.
Mr Das posted a photograph of his meeting with a message: "Had a courtesy meeting with Honourable Union Minister @arunjaitley this evening."
After securing a spectacular mandate in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls - the BJP won 303 seats on its own to gain absolute control of the lower house - PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah are in the process of assembling a council of ministers to form the new government.
A big call will be whether to keep Mr Jaitley as Finance Minister or assign either Railways and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal, 54, who twice presented budgets in the absence of Mr Jaitley, or someone else the task of leading Asia's third-largest economy. Mr Goyal
PM Modi and Mr Shah are reportedly keen on including newer faces and West Bengal, where the party made big gains, jumping from two to 18 seats, could see significant representation.
Meanwhile, the government has moved to dispel rumours of Mr Jaitley's ill-health, with spokesperson Sitanshu Kar tweeting that such media reports were "false and baseless".
His tweet read: "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."
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.— Sitanshu Kar (@DG_PIB) May 26, 2019
Most recently, Mr Jaitley was released after being admitted for at least one day at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi where he was treated for an undisclosed illness.
Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta had also moved to reject reports of the BJP leader's deteriorating health. Mr Dasgupta, who is also a personal friend, tweeted that Mr Jaitley was "recovering his strength and working as usual".