The US Embassy issued a statement condoling the sad demise of former Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday. The former Finance Minister passed away at the age of 66 on August 24 at AIIMS, Delhi. In the statement, the US Embassy stated that the United States Mission in India grieves with the people of India on the loss of former Union Minister Arun Jaitley. It added that Jaitley will be remembered for his distinguished service to India, notably the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), efforts to improve the ease of doing business, and measures to combat corruption. The US Embassy also stated that the former Union Minister recognised the importance of the US-India relationship and worked to improve the economic ties between the two countries. The US Embassy went on to extend deepest condolences to the family and many friends of Arun Jaitley and to the citizens of India.
"The United States Mission in India grieves with the people of India on the loss of former Minister Arun Jaitley. He will be remembered for his long and distinguished service to India. Especially notable were his introduction of the Goods and Services Tax, efforts to improve the ease of doing business, and measures to combat corruption. Minister Jaitley recognized the importance of the U.S.-India relationship and worked to improve the economic ties between our countries. The U.S. Mission in India extends our deepest condolences to former Minister Jaitley’s family and many friends, as well as to all the citizens of India," the statement reads.
US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster also took to Twitter to pay condolences to former Law Minister Arun Jaitley. He hailed Jaitley as a 'great statesman and a strong proponent of the US-India relationship'.
Top BJP brass including Home Minister and party chief Amit Shah, working president JP Nadda, Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Ravi Shankar Prasad, veteran leader LK Advani expressed their sadness over the demise of their party colleague and friend Arun Jaitley. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke about the 'unbreakable' bond between BJP and party stalwart. President Ram Nath Kovind termed Arun Jaitley as a brilliant lawyer, a seasoned parliamentarian, and a distinguished Minister who contributed immensely to the nation building. Terming the sad demise of the BJP leader as 'hard-hitting', Nitin Gadkari said offered his condolences and prayers to his family.
Born in Delhi on December 28, 1952, Arun Jaitley studied at the St Xavier's school and went on to graduate with a degree in commerce from the Shri Ram College of Commerce in 1973, and went on to pursue an LLB at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. At that time, he is also said to have considered becoming a Chartered Accountant. Active in politics since his time as a student, Jaitley was a member of the ABVP, and served as the President of the Delhi University Students Union in 1974. Like a number of his contemporaries in the BJP, Jaitley was put under preventive custody for fighting the Emergency as part of the JP movement, the clampdown on him lasting 19 months. He rose to become the president of the Delhi ABVP and its All India Secretary, He became the president of the youth wing of the Jan Sangh which he had joined later.
Parallel to his political commitments, Jaitley also practiced law, before the Supreme Court and numerous High Courts. He was appointed ASG in the VP Singh government in 1989, and has also appeared in several corporate matters. He stopped practicing law only in June 2009 on becoming the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. In the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, he had served as the Minister for Law and Justice.
He is best known for having served as the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs in the first Narendra Modi government, having also held portfolios of Defence and Information and Broadcasting. It was Jaitley who rolled out the GST in 2017 which saw India becoming a unified market for goods and services for the first time, and was also the first chairman of the GST council, being widely credited for forging consensus leading to the Constitutional amendment that eventually passed the GST Bill. Jaitley opted out of the second Narendra Modi government, having gone to the US for two spells of treatment for a medical ailment in 2018-19. He has, however, regularly taken to Facebook and Twitter to pen blogs on various significant issues in the country.