Former FM Arun Jaitley still on life support, top ministers visit AIIMS

Several Union ministers including Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani and Jitendra Singh, and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited AIIMS here on Sunday (August 18) to enquire about the health condition of former finance minister Arun Jaitley, who is on life support system.

Jaitley, 66, was admitted to the hospital on August 9 after he complained of breathlessness and restlessness.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has not issued any bulletin on Jaitley’s health condition since August 10, and several prominent leaders have been visiting the hospital since to know about his wellbeing.

Sources said on Sunday evening that Jaitley is on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), which is used to treat breathing or heart problems. They had earlier said a multidisciplinary team of doctors is monitoring him.

Among others who visited the hospital on Sunday to check on Jaitley’s condition are, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and his deputy Ashwini Kumar Choubey, BJP MPs Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Gautam Gambhir, and RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat.

Also read: Fire at AIIMS forces evacuation of patients; Arun Jaitley safe

Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Himachal Pradesh Governor Kalraj Mishra, RSS Joint General Secretary Dr Krishna Gopal and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh also visited the facility.

On Saturday also several politicians had visited the hospital. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had said on Friday, “Doctors at AIIMS are doing the best they can.” President Ram Nath Kovind, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had visited AIIMS on Friday to check on the leader’s health.

In May this year, Jaitley was admitted to AIIMS for treatment. Jaitley, a lawyer by profession, had been an important part in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet in the BJP government’s first term. He held the finance and defence portfolios, and often acted as the chief troubleshooter of the government.

Also read: Kovind, Shah, Yogi visit AIIMS; Jaitley’s condition critical, say sources 

Jaitley did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election presumably because of his ill-health. He had undergone a renal transplant on May 14 last year at AIIMS with Railways Minister Piyush Goyal filling in for him in the finance ministry at that time. Jaitley, who had stopped attending office since early April last year, was back in the finance ministry on August 23, 2018. In September 2014, he underwent bariatric surgery to correct the weight he had gained because of a long-standing diabetic condition.