Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

Date, venue of Modi-Xi informal summit yet to be finalised: MEA

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flashes the victory sign along with party president Amit Shah as they arrive at the party headquarters to celebrate their victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in New Delhi on 23 May 2019 Arun Jaitley opts out of Modi government 2.0, cites health reasons
Patty Aguilar | 30 May, 2019, 11:45

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host Chinese President Xi Jinping this year for an informal summit, an Indian foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, after meeting several times over the past year to try to defuse tension.

Ending days of speculations, Jaitley posted on Twitter the letter he wrote to Modi requesting recusal from being a part of the new government on health grounds.

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. The meeting comes after a letter from Jaitley's front over not continuing more as a Finance Minister due to health concerns. "I could not have asked for more", his letter to the Prime Minister read. He, however, has been writing blogs and tweeted on Modi's victory last week.

There has been speculation about Amit Shah joining the cabinet but many in the BJP say it can not afford to lose his organizational skills at a time the party needs to win crucial state elections ahead and raise its numbers in the Rajya Sabha.

The government has, however, said that reports on Jaitley's deteriorating health are false and baseless, and that the media should avoid "rumour mongering".

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A lawyer-turned-politician, Mr Jaitley guided the government's rollout of a complex nationwide tax and often acted as a spokesman on contentious issues.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo might also stop over in New Delhi ahead of the G20 summit, The Hindu newspaper reported, citing sources. He is believed to had undergone some kind of a medical procedure again when he last month visited the USA to attend the IMF-World Bank Group Spring Meetings.

Jaitley, 66, was admitted to AIIMS last week to undergo tests and treatment for an undisclosed illness and was discharged on Thursday - the day results of the Lok Sabha elections were announced.

It should be mentioned that with Jaitley stepping out, the portfolio of Finance Ministry will have to be handled by new face.

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