New Delhi: The government on Sunday dismissed reports about the health condition of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as “false and baseless” and asked the media to avoid “rumour mongering”.
“Reports in a section of the media regarding Union Minister Arun Jaitley’s health condition are false and baseless. Media is advised to stay clear of rumour mongering,” Sitanshu Kar, Principal Spokesperson of the government, said in a tweet.
Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dagupta, who met Jaitley in the afternoon and presented him a copy of his book, said in a tweet that Jaitley is recovering from heavy medication and needs a little rest to get back his strength.
“Questions about health understandable. He is recovering from a bout of heavy medication. But he is still in terrific form and his wit is firmly intact. Needs a little rest to get back his strength. All our good wishes,” Dasgupta said in a tweet.
“I met Arun Jaitley this afternoon and presented him a copy of my book,” he added.
Jaitley’s friend and journalist Rajat Sharma also tweeted to say that he was recovering well and “working behind the scenes”.
“Everyone is discussing my friend Arun Jaitley’s health, some out of genuine concern and some for loose talk. Let me share with you that I met him last evening, he is recovering well and is working behind the scenes. Friends and family have convinced him to stay away from public,” he said.
Jaitley did not attend celebrations at the BJP headquarters on Thursday evening after the results of the Lok Sabha elections.
Jaitley (66) is a key strategist of the party, and has not been attending office for the past three weeks. He did not attend the last Cabinet meeting of the outgoing government.
However, he went to the Finance Ministry for a customary meeting with top officials. This was his last engagement, a thanksgiving one, as Finance Minister before the dissolution of the Cabinet, sources said.
Jaitley was recently admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) but was later discharged. He had undergone a renal transplant surgery in May last year.
There have been reports in the media that Jaitley is unlikely to be a part of the new Cabinet due to his ill health and he could travel abroad for treatment.