Arun Jaitley on life support: Amit Shah, President Kovind visit AIIMS as former finance minister’s health goes critical

Arun Jaitley been put on life support. According to sources, the veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader is critical.

Jaitley has been put on extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), The Hindu reported citing hospital sources. ECMO is used for those whose lungs and heart are incapable of operating on its own.

The 66-year-old was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on August 9 after he had complained of restlessness and breathlessness. A multidisciplinary team of doctors at AIIMS has been appointed to supervise his treatment.

Jaitley was admitted to AIIMS in May as well. He did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election because of his ill health.

AIIMS has not issued any official statement on Jaitley’s health since August 10. Jaitley is under observation in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

On August 17, many politicians visited AIIMS to visit Jaitley and ask him about his health. Those who visited included Union minister Piyush Goyal, Congress leaders Abhishek Singhvi and Jyotiraditya Scindia, and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

BSP chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati was also one of the visitors, according to tweet posted on her official handle. She also said that she consoled Jaitley’s family and prayed for his health.

On August 16, various prominent BJP leaders visited Jaitley at the hospital. Union Minister Harsh Vardhan, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Home Minister Amit Shah were among the ones who met the former finance minister. President Ram Nath Kovind, too, visited the hospital to meet Jaitley.

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.

He had undergone a renal transplant in May 2018 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.