Minister’s office terms as ‘rumours’ reports that he has pancreatic cancer. BJP and government silent on nature of illness.
New Delhi: Union Minister Ananth Kumar has undergone surgery in the US and is likely to return home by the next weekend, sources close to his family have told ThePrint. They, however, refused to divulge the nature of his illness.
“It’s not grave,” said one of them, quoting family members.
The minister’s office in Bengaluru was earlier quoted by local media as saying that reports about Kumar suffering from pancreatic cancer were “rumours”. Neither the BJP nor the NDA government has, however, cleared the air about the nature of the minister’s illness.
The minister, who holds the portfolios of Chemicals and Fertilisers and Parliamentary Affairs, had earlier gone to London for a medical check-up from where he left for the US.
Kumar’s close aides said he would not assume charge of his ministry immediately after his return. He is likely to stay with his family during the period of recuperation and may not return to office for the next month at least, sources said.
“Post-surgery precaution is imminent. As he has undergone a surgery, there are many do’s and don’ts. He needs complete rest,” said one of his aides.
A senior minister told ThePrint that Ananth Kumar was “looking pale” before he left for his medical check-up abroad. An MP from Karnataka said the Union minister had also lost a lot of weight.
PM may have to take a call on portfolios
Kumar, the five-term MP from Bengaluru South, has not attended office for about a fortnight.
Given that he is unlikely to be available for at least four weeks more, Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have to take a call on whether Kumar’s portfolios could be allocated, as additional charge, to another minister.
When Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister, Arun Jaitley, had to undergo a kidney transplant recently, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was given additional charge of his ministries.