Arun Jaitley
Lawyer-turned-politician Arun Jaitley also had triple bypass heart surgery when he was 52.Reuters

Former Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi on Friday morning after complaining of breathing difficulties.

The 66-year-old leader was admitted to AIIMS's cardiology department for a medical check-up.

Jaitley, a close ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stepped down in January this year due to ill health before elections that returned Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power.

AIIMS released a health bulletin which read, "Arun Jaitley was admitted to AIIMS today morning. He is currently undergoing treatment in the intensive care unit under the supervision of a multidisciplinary team of doctors. At present, he is haemodynamically stable." PM Modi visited Jaitley in hospital on Friday.

Jaitley's health issues worsened after he underwent a kidney transplant in May last year. He also had to skip the presentation of the interim budget in February 2018 when he was in hospital in the United States for cancer treatment.

The lawyer-turned-politician also had triple bypass heart surgery when he was 52.

Jaitley's urbane and articulate manner helped him win friends across party lines and industry, leading to the enactment of a bankruptcy code and a national goods and services tax law that had languished for almost 20 years.

But he had a mixed record in economic management. Though inflation hit a record low during his tenure, growth sagged from 8% to 5.8% during the first three months of 2019.