After days of speculations, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday confirmed that he would not be a part of the Narendra Modi-led government this time.
In a letter to the prime minister, Jaitley said, "During the last eighteen months, I have had some serious health challenges. I 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."
Earlier, sources had revealed that Jaitley, 66, was unlikely take up any offer to continue in the top job as his health has deteriorated over the past few months. Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the Lok Sabha election 2019 with a historic mandate of about 300 out of 542 parliamentary seats that were contested, results announced by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on May 23 showed.
On Monday, the government had dismissed reports about his health condition as 'false and baseless'. BJP leaders asked the media to avoid "rumour mongering".
Read Arun Jaitley's letter ot the prime minister
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
It was a great honour and a learning experience for me to have been a part of the government led by you for the past five years. Even earlier, the party had blessed me with responsibilities in the first NDA government, in the party organisation and also while we were in the Opposition. I could not have asked for more.
During the last eighteen months, I have had some serious health challenges. My doctors have enabled me to emerge out of most of them, After the campaign had concluded and you were leaving for Kedarnath, I had orally informed you that even though I was able to discharge the responsibilities assigned to me during the campagin, I would in future, for some time, like to keep away from responsibility. This will enable me to concentrate on my treatment and health. The BJP and the NDA, under your leadership have secured a spectacular win. The new government would be sworn-in tomorrow.
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.
I would abviously have a lot of time at my disposal to undertake any work informally to support the government or the party.
With warm regards,