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Former Union minister Arun Jaitley passes away at 66

Posted August 24th, 2019, 03:27 PM IST

Former Union minister Arun Jaitley passes away at 66

Former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at 12:07 pm on Saturday after battling months of ill health.

"It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Shri Arun Jaitley. Honourable Member of Parliament and former finance minister, government of India at 12:07 pm on 24 August, 2019," the AIIMS statement read.




The veteran BJP leader, who was brought in to the hospital on August 9, had been put on life support and was being monitored by a multidisciplinary team of doctors.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a state visit to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and France, spoke to Arun Jaitley’s wife and son and expressed his condolences. They insisted the PM not cancel his current foreign tour.

PM Modi tweeted, "Jaitley Ji was a political giant, towering intellectual & 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, & expressed condolences. Om Shanti."


Narendra Modi
?
@narendramodi
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.

41.7K
1:14 PM - Aug 24, 2019
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Narendra Modi
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@narendramodi
Full of life, blessed with wit, a great sense of humour and charisma, Arun Jaitley Ji was admired by people across all sections of society. He was multi-faceted, having impeccable knowledge about India’s Constitution, history, public policy, governance and administration.

19.9K
1:17 PM - Aug 24, 2019
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Narendra Modi
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@narendramodi
During his long political career, Arun Jaitley Ji held multiple ministerial responsibilities, which enabled him to contribute towards India’s economic growth, strengthening our defence capabilities, creating people friendly laws and enhancing trade with other nations.

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1:17 PM - Aug 24, 2019
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Narendra Modi
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@narendramodi
With the demise of Arun Jaitley Ji, I have lost a valued friend, whom I have had the honour of knowing for decades. His insight on issues and nuanced understanding of matters had very few parallels. He lived well, leaving us all with innumerable happy memories. We will miss him!

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1:18 PM - Aug 24, 2019
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President Ram Nath Kovind also expressed condolences on Jaitley's demise. "Extremely saddened by the passing of Shri Arun Jaitley after battling a long illness with fortitude and dignity. A brilliant lawyer, a seasoned parliamentarian, and a distinguished Minister, he contributed immensely to nation building," he tweeted.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla reached AIIMS and Home Minister Amit Shah cut short his visit to Hyderabad and returned to Delhi following Jailtey's death.

"Deeply pained by the demise of Arun Jaitley ji. It is like a personal loss for me. I have not only lost a senior party leader but also an important family member who will forever be a guiding light for me," Amit Shah tweeted.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Jaitley would always be remembered for "pulling the economy out of the gloom and putting it back on the right track".

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, who was leaving for Andhra Pradesh from Chennai, also rushed to New Delhi.

Several leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other top BJP and Congress leaders had often visited Jaitley in hospital while he was on life-support.

Jaitley first became a Cabinet minister in the government of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2000. He then also went on to serve as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha from June 2009.

He was appointed the finance minister in the first term of Modi government in 2014. He opted out of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections citing health reasons.

He had undergone a kidney transplant on May 14 last year at AIIMS with Railways Minister Piyush Goyal filling in for him in the finance ministry at that time.

In September 2014, he underwent bariatric surgery to correct the weight he had gained because of a long-standing diabetic condition.

As a consummate lawyer, Jaitley handled tricky political situations with ease, worked out winning electoral strategies and presented even the most complicated political, legal or business issues with clarity.

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