The former finance minister was suffering with a kidney-related ailment.

Legal luminary great administrator Condolences pour in for Arun JaitleyFile photo/PTI
news Death Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 14:30

Condolences poured in grieving the death of former union minister and BJP’s troubleshooter Arun Jaitley. The former finance minister passed away on Saturday due to a Kidney-related ailment.

Mourning the loss of his close aide, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Arun Jaitley Ji was a political giant, towering intellectual and legal luminary. He was an articulate leader who made a lasting contribution to India. His passing away is very saddening. Spoke to his wife Sangeeta Ji as well as son Rohan, and expressed condolences. Om Shanti.”

President Ram Nath Kovind said that Arun Jaitley passing away has left a huge void in public and intellectual ecosystem. “Shri Arun Jaitley possessed a unique ability of discharging the most onerous responsibility with poise, passion and studied understanding. His passing leaves a huge void in our public life and our intellectual ecosystem. Condolences to his family and associates.”

The former finance minister passed away at 12.07 pm, according to AIIMS, where he was availing treatment for the past two weeks. Jaitley was admitted to AIIMS on August 9, after he complained of unease. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, Home Minister Amit Shah, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and many politicians, both from the BJP and various other parties, have visited AIIMS hospital in the past two weeks. It was announced last Saturday that Jaitley had been placed on life support.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah cut short his visit to Hyderabad and returned to New Delhi immediately after learning about Jaitley’s death. 

Shah tweeted, “I pray to God to grant peace to the departed soul and give the bereaved family the strength to bear this loss.”

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, "No words can describe the loss of Shri @arunjaitley. A mentor to many of us, a guide and a moral support and strength. Have learnt so much from him. A fine large-hearted person. Always ready to help anyone/everyone. His intelligence, sagacity, astuteness have no match." (sic).

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that Arun Jaitley served the nation in several capacities and he was an asset to the government and the party organisation.

"He always had a deep and clear understanding of the issues of the day. His knowledge and articulation won him several friends," he tweeted.

Union Minister for Textiles Smriti Z Irani said that Jaitley was a stalwart who paid tribute to his simple beginnings by helping those with meagre means. "Orator par excellence, legal luminary he served the nation and sangathan with dedication and zeal. My tributes to him," she tweeted.

BJP leader Suresh Prabhu tweeted that Jaitley’s invaluable contribution in several diverse sectors, government, parliament, legal fraternity, politics, and public life is now unfortunately a memory. Incredible contribution.

Referring to Jaitley as the tallest leader of our times Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers and former Karnataka CM Sadananda Gowda said, “I have known Arun Jaitley ji personally for a long time. A person with strong principles and values, he devoted his whole life in the service of the country. He was one of the greatest Finance Ministers who wanted to build a new and prosperous India devoid of economic inequality. He was a committed party worker having brilliant organisational skill. As in charge of State of Karnataka, he rejuvenated our party and guided it to new heights. He may have left us but he will continue to remain in our hearts and minds forever.”

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that untimely demise of Jaitley is a huge loss to the nation. A legal luminary and an experienced political leader known for his governance skills will be missed by the country.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that Jaitley proved his talent in various fields and left his mark in administrative field. "His deep knowledge in law had helped him to shine in parliamentary work. He has extra ordinary skill in analysing political and financial affairs," he said.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami credited the former Union Minister with introducing the Goods and Services Tax for the 'welfare of the people and growth of the economy'. "Arun Jaitley's passing is a great loss not just for his family members but also to his party cadre and to this great nation. I wish to convey my deepest sympathies and condolences to his family. I pray to the almighty that his soul may attain the shadow of the lord." he said in a statement.

The Congress party too expressed their condolences, “We are deeply saddened to hear the passing of Shri Arun Jaitley. Our condolences to his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of grief.”

Congress MP, Shashi Tharoor, wrote “Deeply saddened by the tragic passing of my friend & Delhi University senior Arun Jaitley. We first met when he was at DUSU& I was President of St Stephen’s College Union. Despite political differences we enjoyed a healthy mutual respect & debated his Budget often in LS. A great loss4India.”  

KT Rama Rao, working president of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) tweeted, “Extremely saddened to learn about the demise of Former Union Minister Sri Arun Jaitley Ji. Condolences to his family. One of the most well informed & composed union ministers I’ve had the good fortune of interacting many times. Always forthright & ebullient.”

Calling Jaitley's loss an irreparable loss for the BJP, DMK chief and Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu MK Stalin said, "I convey my deepest sympathies and condolences to his wife, family, cabinet colleagues, fellow lawyers and to Prime Minister Narendra Modi."

Jaitley had been unwell for several months and underwent surgeries in the United States as well. Last year, he underwent a successful kidney transplant at AIIMS.

Born in 1952 to Kishen Jaitley and Ratan Prabha Jaitley, Arun Jaitley did his schooling in St Xavier’s School in New Delhi. He graduated in Commerce from the prestigious Shri Ram College of Commerce and then did a law degree from Delhi University. An ABVP activist during his university days, Jaitley was the president of the Delhi University Students’ Union and spent 19 months in jail during the Emergency. He joined the BJP in 1980. In 1990, he was appointed as the Additional Solicitor General of India and was entrusted with fighting the Bofors case for the government. In 1991, he was inducted into the BJP’s national executive, the top decision-making body of the party. He first became a member of the Rajya Sabha in 2000. He was made the BJP general secretary in 2002. Between 2009 and 2014, he served as the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. 


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