Finance minister Arun Jaitley is unlikely to present the federal budget on February 1, as he has flown to the United States for cancer treatment. Jaitley has already left for New York for treatment of soft tissue cancer in his thigh, a type of tumour which can spread to other parts of the body quickly. A Press Trust of India report said Jaitley suddenly left for New York on Sunday night for a “regular medical check-up”. His ailment comes as bad news for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the general election is due by May.
Jaitley was supposed to present the BJP-led government’s sixth budget in about two weeks but it seems that another minister may have to perform the job. Moreover, Jaitley was recently assigned to be the BJP’s publicity head. Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi expressed his support for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at a time when the Minister is in the U.S. for medical treatment. “I’m upset to hear Arun Jaitley Ji is not well. We fight him on a daily basis for his ideas. However, I and the Congress party send him our love and best wishes for a speedy recovery. We are with you and your family 100% during this difficult period Mr. Jaitley,” Gandhi tweeted.
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