Arun Jaitley hints at giving up Defence portfolio on Sunday
New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today indicated that he may not hold additional charge of the Defence Ministry from Sunday. “When I took over charge of that Ministry, I had said it is a temporary charge, it is an additional charge.
People were surprised that it is the first statement that I made,” he said at the launch of a book “2014: The Election That Changed India” written by eminent journalist Rajdeep Sardesai.
Replying to another query if he was happy leaving the South Block, Jaitley said “well this was always an additional charge with me and this is what I had always stated when I took charge”.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi can consult “anyone” but will not guided or dictated by “anybody” on the issue of cabinet reshuffle.
“I think a large part of what is mentioned there (in the book) is not accurate. Prime Minister can consult anyone but at the end of the day, it is his word that prevails,” Jaitley said.
He was replying to a question about Rajdeep writing in his book that the original list of cabinet members in May was prepared by Modi's key point person - Jaitley and now BJP President Amit Shah - and then “vetted” by RSS.
Jaitley said a Prime Minister with the “clarity of mind of a man like Modi is certainly not going to be guided or dictated by anybody else in the matter of cabinet reshuffle”.
For instance, there is addition to council of ministers in the offing in two days from now, and certainly it is he (Modi) who has the last word and he who makes his decision, the Finance Minister said.