The health status of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has come into the focus once again after news emerged that he has travelled to New York for emergency treatment.
While initial conclusion was that Jaitley was seeking treatment connected with his kidney transplant last year, multiple media reports said on Wednesday he was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer.
There have been no official updates on the minister's health.
Rumours, however, are rife that Railway Minister Piyush Goyal might have to present the interim budget, which is scheduled for February 1. Goyal had taken over the finance minister's duties for four months last year, when Jaitley was recuperating after the kidney transplant.
The Wire said in a report on Thursday that Jaitley was unlikely to be back in Delhi to present the government's interim budget.
"Jaitley has already left for New York for treatment of soft tissue cancer in his thigh, a type of tumour which can spread to other parts of the body quickly," the report said.
The fact that Jaitley chose not to postpone the foreign treatment for a couple of weeks so that he could present the budget hinted at the severity of his health condition.
Citing sources, IANS reported on Wednesday that the minister was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma, a rare type of cancer.
The 66-year-old BJP leader had undergone a bariatric surgery in 2014 due to severe diabetes. He was admitted to New Delhi's AIIMS in April last year with serious kidney ailment. Subsequently, the renal transplant was done in May.
While there is no confirmation now on when Jaitley would return from the US, initial reports ahd said he was due back on 19th, in time for presenting his sixth union budget.
Jaitley's health had hogged headlines after his return from the kidney transplant last year. There were restrictions on his interactions with the public to avoid chances of infection.
Leaders hope for quick recovery
Earlier on Wednesday, leaders across the political divide in Delhi wished Jaitley quick recovery after news of his emergency travel emerged.
"I'm upset to hear Arun Jaitley Ji is not well. We fight him on a daily basis for his ideas. However, I and the Congress party send him our love and best wishes for a speedy recovery. We are with you and your family 100% during this difficult period Mr Jaitley," Congress President Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet.