Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday recalled his longtime association with former Cabinet colleague Arun Jaitley and said he cannot imagine that he was so far in Bahrain while his dear friend has gone away forever.
Jaitley died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Saturday afternoon after battling multiple health issues for the last several months. He was 66. He was admitted there on August 9.
"I cannot imagine that I am here in Bahrain while my dear friend Arun Jaitley is no more. Some days ago, we lost our former External Affairs Minister Behen Sushma Ji. Today my dear friend Arun went away," Prime Minister Modi said.
Addressing the Indian community at the National Stadium here, Modi became emotional while recalling his decades-old friendship with Jaitley.
"At a time at a time when people are celebrating janmashtami, I am mourning the death of my friend Arun," Modi said, amid silence in the audience.
The prime minister said he was bound by his duty on one side and on one side his heart was full of emotions.