NEW DELHI: Former Union finance minister Arun Jaitley was in a criticial condition on Friday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here, where he was admitted for treatment on August 9. President Ram Nath Kovind and Union health minister Harsh Vardhan were among those who called on him in the last two days. He was at the ICU on ventilator, doctors said.
Jaitley, one of the wealthiest MPs, has his family base in Delhi and was a practising lawyer at the Supreme Court. He had undergone extensive treatment while he held the finance portfolio in the last government and did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in the capital due to health reasons. He is a Rajya Sabha member, and had previously lost Lok Sabha polls.
He was a major source of strength for Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his first term in office. One of the wealthiest MPs (he inherited wealth from family), he is a practising lawyer in the Supreme Court for many years, which too helped him make money. Demonetisation was a step that went wrong, but Jaitley had less of a role in it. Perceptions are that some of Modi’s advisers guided the PM in this respect and Jaitley fell in line.
However, there are feelings that Jaitley gave a long rope to the big sharks who fleeced banks, and that he did not move fast in the matter of fixing the non-performing assets or bad loans problem of public sector banks. –IHN-NN–IHN-NN