Former Union finance minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley passed away in New Delhi on Saturday. He was 66.
The Former finance minister was admitted to AIIMS in Delhi last week after he complained of palpitations and restlessness.
He breathed his last at 12:07 pm on Saturday.
He was placed under observation at the hospital’s Cardio-Neuro Centre.
In 2018, Arun Jaitley underwent a kidney transplant surgery, following which he was put under isolation.
He was unwell for a large part of the last two years.
A lawyer by profession, Arun Jaitley was among the leaders who were jailed by the Indira Gandhi government during the Emergency. He was a student leader at the time.
Home minister Amit Shah, who is presently in Hyderabad, has cut short his trip to return to the national capital.
A lawyer by profession, Jaitley had been an important part of Narendra Modi‘s cabinet during his first tenure as prime minister.
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 elections because of his ill-health.
Jaitley, who had stopped attending office since early April 2018 due to ill health, 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.
Jaitley’s demise leaves the country numb, days after the nation lost former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit and ex-foreign minister Sushma Swaraj.
“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!,” Prime Minister Modi said in a tweet.
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
Expressing grief over the demise of the BJP veteran, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal twitted:
“Extremely saddened to learn of the demise of former Finance Minister #ArunJaitley ji. An inspiration & guide, we have lost a towering leader, whose contribution towards shaping the growth story of New India is unparalleled. My deepest condolences in this hour of grief.”
Extremely saddened to learn of the demise of former Finance Minister #ArunJaitley ji. An inspiration & guide, we have lost a towering leader, whose contribution towards shaping the growth story of New India is unparalleled. My deepest condolences in this hour of grief. pic.twitter.com/UIdAKIsxex
— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) August 24, 2019
Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also condoled the demise of Jaitely.
“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,” Sarma twitted.
It is a moment of intense pain, as I bow down in reverence of the departed soul, he added.
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.
It is a moment of intense pain, as I bow down in reverence of the departed soul. pic.twitter.com/DNpIP1jsSg
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) August 24, 2019