Former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley passed away on Saturday at Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where he was admitted on August 9. The minister had complained of trouble in breathing, following which he was admitted to the institute. He was being attended by a team of endocrinologist, nephrologist and cardiologist and was kept under observation since then.
Arun Jaitley had not been keeping well for the past couple of years. He did not contest the Lok Sabha elections this year owing to poor health.
The former minister had undergone treatment in the US for soft tissue cancer earlier this year. He also had a renal transplant on May 14 last year. His office was taken over by Piyush Goyal in the meantime. He was back in the ministry on August 23. The minister had also undergone bariatric surgery to correct his weight that he had gained because of his long-standing diabetes in 2014.
A lawyer by profession, Jaitley proved to be one of the most important leaders in the Vajpayee and Modi governments. He was the go-to troubleshooter in their cabinets.
While his political career was replete with multiple ups and downs, he will be best remembered for reforms such as GST, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, implementing Jan Dhan and carrying through Aadhaar-based direct benefit transfer to as many as 55 schemes.
Following the news of his demise, leaders across political parties came together to mourn the stalwart's death.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "I have lost a valued friend, whom I have had the honour of knowing for decades."
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!- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 24, 2019
President Ram Nath Kovind paid tribute to Arun Jaitley and tweeted," Extremely saddened by the passing of 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."
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.- President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 24, 2019
Nitin Gadkari, the Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, also took to twiiter to give condolences.
निशब्द हूं, अरुण जी को मेरी भावभीनी श्रद्धांजलि। देश को उनकी कमी हमेशा खलेगी। राज्यसभा में पक्ष और विपक्ष में रहते उनके दिए भाषण हमेशा चिरन्तन रहेंगे।- Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) August 24, 2019
Union Home Minister, Amit Shah condoled the demise of Former External Affairs Minister Arun Jaitley, saying he was saddened and devastated by the news of his death and that the country has lost a great politician today.
अरुण जेटली जी के निधन से अत्यंत दुःखी हूँ, जेटली जी का जाना मेरे लिये एक व्यक्तिगत क्षति है।
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।- Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 24, 2019
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Lucknow told ANI,"Just got to know of the passing away of Arun Jaitley Ji. He was an asset for the country, for the govt, and for the party. I will leave for Delhi to pay tributes to Arun Jaitley Ji."
Jaitleyji will always be remembered for pulling the economy out of the gloom and putting it back on the right track.
The BJP will miss Arunji's presence. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family.- Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) August 24, 2019
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das tweeted, "Saddened by Jaitley ji's demise, BJP family has lost one of its integral members today. I pray to the almighty to give peace to the departed soul and give strength to his family at this time of grief."
अरुण जेटली जी के निधन से दुखी हूं। आज भारतीय जनता पार्टी ने परिवार के एक अभिन्न सदस्य को खो दिया। ईश्वर से प्रार्थना करता हूं कि दिवंगत आत्मा को अपने श्रीचरणों में स्थान दे एवं शोक-संतप्त परिजनों को दुःख की इस घड़ी में धैर्य व संबल प्रदान करें। pic.twitter.com/tJnhx4LBsh- Raghubar Das (@dasraghubar) August 24, 2019
Shashi Tharoor, MP for Thiruvananthapuram wrote," Deeply saddened by the tragic passing of my friend Arun Jaitley", adding that despite their political differnces, they enjoyed a healthy mutual respect & debated on Budget often in Lok Sabha".
Deeply saddened by the tragic passing of my friend&DelhiUniv senior @arunjaitley. We first met when he was at DUSU& I was President of StStephen'sCollegeUnion. Despite political differences we enjoyed a healthy mutual respect&debated his Budget often in LS. A great loss4India pic.twitter.com/RzxO1V6NTV- Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) August 24, 2019
Union Cabinet Minister for Textiles and Women & Child Development Smriti Z Irani also passed her condolences and tweeted,"Arun Jaitley ji served the Nation and sangathan with dedication and zeal.
A stalwart who paid tribute to his simple beginnings by helping those with meagre means . Orator par excellence, legal luminary @arunjaitley ji served the Nation and sangathan with dedication and zeal. My tributes to him. Condolences to loved ones. Om Shanti.- Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) August 24, 2019
Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India also tweeted condolences to the family and loved ones of the former Finance Minister Arun Jailtley and added that,"France stands with India & its people in this time of deep grief".
On behalf of France, I offer our heartfelt condolences to the family & loved ones of Shri Arun Jaitley ji.August 24, 2019
Vice-President and BJP leader, M Venkaiah Naidu told ANI," His death is an irreparable loss for the country and personally to me also. I have no words to express my grief. He was a powerful intellectual, an able administrator and a man of impeccable integrity."
Arvind Kerjiwal tweeted that the untimely demise of former FM and senior leader Arun Jaitley is ahuge loss to the nation and shared his condolences and prayers with the family.
Untimely demise of former FM and senior leader Sh Arun Jaitley ji 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. Thoughts and prayers with his family in this moment of grief. RIP- Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 24, 2019
Virender Sehwag said he was pained with sudden news on Arun Jaitley's demise and tweeted,"Apart from having served greatly in public life , he played a huge role in many players from Delhi getting an opportunity to represent India."
Chief Minister of Punjab, Amarinder Singh tweeted condolences to Arun Jaitley's family in this time of grief and tweeted he was sad to hear about his passing away.
Pained at the passing away of #ArunJaitley ji. Apart from having served greatly in public life , he played a huge role in many players from Delhi getting an opportunity to represent India. There was a time when not many players from Delhi got a chance at the highest level ..cont- Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 24, 2019
Sad to hear that former Union Minister #ArunJaitley ji has passed away. My thoughts are with his family in this time of grief. May his soul rest in peace.- Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) August 24, 2019
Actor Anil Kapoor that Arun Jaitley's demise is a huge loss for our nation. He added that Jaitley will be truly missedand paid heartfelt condolences to the family members.
Met Shri #ArunJaitley Ji almost 20 years back for the first time & have been his admirer ever since.
His demise is a huge loss for our nation.
Will be truly missed.
My heartfelt condolences to the family. 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/XsBXwQnpj0- Anil Kapoor (@AnilKapoor) August 24, 2019