BJP bulwark Arun Jaitley passes away at 66, tributes pour in from across country
In his political career spanning four decades, Arun Jaitley served as central minister, Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House and an important tactician for the growth of right wing politics and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Former Union finance minister and veteran BJP leader Arun Jaitley died at AIIMS on Saturday, the hospital announced.
Jaitley, 66, was undergoing treatment at the hospital for several weeks. "It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Arun Jaitley," the AIIMS said in a brief statement.
Jaitley, a lawyer by profession, had been an important part in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet in the BJP government's first term. He held the finance and defence portfolios, and often acted as the chief troubleshooter of the government.
Jaitley did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election because of his ill-health.
He had undergone a renal transplant on May 14 last year at AIIMS with Railways Minister Piyush Goyal filling in for him in the finance ministry at that time.
Jaitley, who had stopped attending office since early April last year, was back in the finance ministry on August 23, 2018.
In September 2014, he underwent bariatric surgery to correct the weight he had gained because of a long-standing diabetic condition.
Parties and politicians were united in paying their tribute
Shri Arun Jaitley possessed a unique ability of discharging the most onerous responsibility with poise, passion and studied understanding.— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 24, 2019
His passing leaves a huge void in our public life and our intellectual ecosystem. Condolences to his family and associates #PresidentKovind
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.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 24, 2019
अरुण जेटली जी के निधन से अत्यंत दुःखी हूँ, जेटली जी का जाना मेरे लिये एक व्यक्तिगत क्षति है।— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 24, 2019
उनके रूप में मैंने न सिर्फ संगठन का एक वरिष्ठ नेता खोया है बल्कि परिवार का एक ऐसा अभिन्न सदस्य भी खोया है जिनका साथ और मार्गदर्शन मुझे वर्षो तक प्राप्त होता रहा।
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. pic.twitter.com/7Tk5pf9edw— Congress (@INCIndia) August 24, 2019
One of modern India's tallest architects, an accomplished lawyer, outstanding Parliamentarian, great administrator and wonderful human being - Sri Arun Jaitley is no more with us.— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) August 24, 2019
It is a moment of intense pain, as I bow down in reverence of the departed soul. pic.twitter.com/DNpIP1jsSg
Unimaginable loss for Indian Politics!#ArunJaitley a man who donned many Hats ..a man who mesmerised all around Him ..a man who mentored many ...a man for whom you felt knew almost about everything under the Sun ..is no more with us— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) August 24, 2019
His life was an inspiration indeed
ॐ शांति???? pic.twitter.com/5Hu39zL3qr
Deeply saddened to hear that Shri @arunjaitley is no more. My prayers are with the family for strength during this time and for the departed soul to find peace. It is a sad day and a great loss for India as Jaitley Ji‘s contributions have been many.— Sachin Pilot (@SachinPilot) August 24, 2019
It is shocking to learn about the sad demise of one of the tallest leaders of our country @arunjaitley, the former Union Minister who had held the portfolios of Finance, Defence, Corporate Affairs,Commerce and Industry and Law and Justice. A great loss to our Nation.#ArunJaitley— H D Devegowda (@H_D_Devegowda) August 24, 2019
Deeply saddened to hear about passing away of former Union Minister Arun Jaitley ji. He was a distinguished lawyer, parliamentarian and an erudite person. His contribution to governance has been profound. Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, friends and followers.— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) August 24, 2019