Months after kidney transplant, Arun Jaitley to take charge of Finance Ministry

The 65-year-old BJP leader had undergone a renal transplant in May this year.

Months after kidney transplant, Arun Jaitley to take charge of Finance Ministry

NEW DELHI: Arun Jaitley, who stepped aside as Finance Minister in May to undergo a kidney transplant, is expected to charge of the ministry on Thursday, sources said on Thursday.

The 65-year-old BJP leader, who is also the Leader of the Upper House, had participated in the voting process to elect the Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha recently.

During the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha, he was given a warm welcome by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.

PM Modi also expressed his happiness over Jaitley attending the Parliament Session in Rajya Sabha after a three-month-long hiatus. 

"I am happy that the Leader of the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley is present in the House," the PM said.

Jaitley also later congratulated Harivansh Narayan Singh on his election as Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman. 

"I am confident that Harivansh Singh would uphold the integrity of the post," Jaitley had said in his speech.

Jaitley had not been attending office from the beginning of April and later underwent a renal transplant operation on May 14. 

In view of his surgery, the charge of Finance Ministry was given to Minister for Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal on an interim basis.

Jaitley has been the Finance Minister since the Narendra Modi government came to power in May 2014. He had also held additional charge of the Ministry of Defence as well as that of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

During his over four-month-long break, he was very active on social media, wrote blogs on various economic and non-economic issues like National Register for Citizens (NRC) in Assam, Emergency in 1975, No-confidence Motion in Parliament, Rafale fighter jet deal and the goods and services tax.

A Rajya Sabha MP since 2000, he was re-elected to the Upper House from Uttar Pradesh in March this year. 

Jaitley had undergone a bariatric surgery soon after the BJP government came to power at the Centre in 2014. 

The surgery, to treat weight gain that he suffered because of a long-standing diabetic condition, was first performed at Max Hospital but he had to be shifted to AIIMS because of complications.

(With PTI Inputs)