Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s health has become a cause of national concern as the second-in-command in Modi’s government is all set to undergo a kidney transplant surgery at the AIIMS on Saturday, April 7.
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), which has apologized for its mistaken dialysis on a patient last week, said it has formed a special team under doctor V.K. Bansal to carry out the surgery on Jaitley and Sandeep Guleria, a specialist from Apollo Hospitals has also been roped in.
The new state-of-art Cardio-Neuro Tower in the AIIMS will be the place for today’s operation and it may be recalled that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj too underwent her kidney transplant here in December 2016.
Jaitley had tweeted on Thursday: “I am being treated for kidney related problems and certain infections that I have contracted. I am therefore currently working from controlled environment at home. The future course of my treatment would be determined by the doctors treating me.”
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, in his tweet wished the leader early recovery. “I’m truly sorry to hear this @arunjaitley ji. I pray for your speedy recovery,” he tweeted. Jaitley, 65, had earlier been operated upon for a gastric bypass in 2015 to loose weight after Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari underwent similar surgery.
Jaitley, who visited Singapore recently, had to cancel his other international trips, including his next week’s visit to London for the annual economic dialogue. Currently, he has cancelled all major appearances in the public and is working from home.
Since the recovery will take at least three months, the finance ministry will essentially be run by finance secretary Hasmukh Adhia with the PMO overseeing its function. Adhia, a Gujarat cadre IAS official and a long-time confidante of PM Narendra Modi, will report to him for the next three months. His retirement by end of this year, is likely to be given an extension, said The Wired quoting sources familiar with the developments.
Jaitley’s absence when Karnataka elections are being held next month may keep Modi tied to Delhi but PM is not likely to allot the ministry to other BJP leaders in view of its key role in implementing the welfare programs ahead of the 2019 elections.