Union minister Arun Jaitley resumed his work at the finance and corporate affairs ministry on Thursday after a three-month-long break following a successful kidney transplant at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
A communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said, “The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has directed to assign the portfolios of the minister of finance and minister of corporate affairs to Shri Arun Jaitley.”
Jaitley, 65, underwent the surgery in May this year and was discharged three weeks later. He has been working from home the past few months.
The Finance Minister takes back his charge at a politically crucial time, as the government prepares for the final lap of economic consolidation in the run up to the 2019 general elections.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had been given the additional charge of the Finance and Corporate Affairs ministries in Jaitley’s absence
But one of Modi government’s top ministers and key strategists, Jaitley remained active, from the confines of his home. He advised the party on key issues, intervened in public debates through blogs, and kept in touch with daily happenings.
Jaitley’s first public appearance in three months was in the Rajya Sabha on August 9, when he was present to vote for the National Democratic Alliance candidate, Harivansh, to elect the deputy chairperson. As the leader of the House, Jaitley was warmly welcomed with leaders across the spectrum wishing him good health.
The minister, who was this year elected for his sixth term to Rajya Sabha, was sworn in as a member in the chambers of chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu in a special ceremony because of his health condition.
“Took oath of office as Rajya Sabha Member representing Uttar Pradesh, April 15, 2018,” Jaitley said on Twitter.
Jaitley had earlier been reappointed Leader of the Rajya Sabha following his election but could not be sworn in along with other members of the Upper House because of ill health.