Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley passed away on Saturday on August 24, 2019. He had been admitted to AIIMS, in New Delhi on August 9, 2019. He had been the Finance Minister in PM Narendra Modi's cabinet during the Prime Minister's first term. He had decided to not join PM Modi's cabinet in his second term citing health grounds.
The former Finance Minister was active in politics since his student days. The senior BJP leader in his youth 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, Arun 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.
Arun Jaitley later went on to become one of the BJP’s senior-most leaders and played a crucial role in Prime Minister Modi's cabinet during his first tenure. The Former Union Minister had many accomplishments to his name-- he not only held the all important portfolios of Union Finance Minister and Defence Minister in Narendra Modi’s first term at the Centre, but was also the leader of the house in the Rajya Sabha for the Narendra Modi Government.
Arun Jaitley Ji was a political giant, towering intellectual & 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, & expressed condolences: PM Modi— Republic (@republic) August 24, 2019
Arun Jaitley’s political career spanned multiple decades and tenures. In the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government, Mr Jaitley held the portfolios of Information and Broadcasting while simultaneously holding Independent Charge of the Department of Disinvestment and going on to hold the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs and then the Ministry of Shipping. In the Narendra Modi-led government, Jaitley came to be a centrepiece and was the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, of Corporate Affairs and held the all-important Ministries of Finance and Defence. The veteran BJP politician was also leader of the house in the Rajya Sabha since the Modi government came into office and had been a member of the upper house from Gujarat since 2000. 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.