BJP stalwart Arun Jaitley, who passed away on Saturday, notched up several firsts in a political career spanning four decades. A lawyer by profession, he was one of the most important leaders in Vajpayee and Modi Cabinet and had often acted as the chief troubleshooter for the government. He had opted out of Modi govt 2.0, citing health reasons.
His political career was peppered with relentless reforms driven with boundless energy and enthusiasm such as GST, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, implementing Jan Dhan and then carrying through Aadhaar-based direct benefit transfer to as many as 55 schemes.
Here's a look at his illustrious career graph:
- Arun Jaitley was born on December 28, 1952 in New Delhi. He completed his studies from St. Xavier's School, Delhi from 1957-69. He graduated in BCom from Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi in 1973, while passed his LLB degree from the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, in 1977.
- He was an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) student leader at the Delhi University Campus and rose to be the President of the Students Union of Delhi University in 1974. He was included in the BJP's national executive, the top decision-making body of the party, in 1991.
- Senior BJP leader Jaitley served in a variety of ministerial posts in the Vajpayee government and Narendra Modi government. He held several cabinet portfolios, such as finance, defence, corporate affairs, commerce and industry and law and justice.
- In 1999, in the Vajpayee-led NDA government, he became the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (Independent Charge).
- In 2000, he was elevated as a Cabinet Minister and was made simultaneously the Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs and Shipping, a portfolio vacated by Ram Jethmalani.
- In 2000, he was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2000 from Gujarat. He was re-elected in 2006 and 2012. In 2018, he was elected to the Upper House of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh.
- With the defeat of the NDA in May 2004, Jaitley became a party general secretary and entered the Rajya Sabha.
- He served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha from 2009 to 2014.
- In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Jaitley contested his first direct election from Amritsar Lok Sabha seat where he replaced BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu and was fielded against former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh. He lost the polls.
- He was selected as Minister of Finance (which includes the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Minister of Defence) in Modi's Cabinet on May 26, 2014.
- During his tenure as the Finance Minister, the government demonetised the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 banknotes on November 9, 2016, with the objective to curb corruption, black money, fake currency and terrorism.