Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley passed away at the age of 66 at AIIMS, New Delhi on Saturday. Speaking to Republic TV on the sad demise of the former Union Minister, his college batchmate from SRCC, DU (Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University), Sunil Sethi shared anecdotes from their college life. Sunil Sethi shared how he was protected with Arun Jaitley fighting for the elections of Students' Union (DUSU) at that time. With tears in eyes, he spoke about Arun Jaitley as the man who knew all statistics and facts and figures.
"I was with him in school as well. He was a year or two senior to me in the school. I was protected as soon as I reached college. He was fighting for Students' Union elections as the president. I got saved from all the raging and I just got stowed along with him. Leadership qualities could be seen from there. Whether it was a road-track, the Delhi University club, he was the president again, whether it was going to the cricket matches when he was not at all associated with cricket, listening to the kind of knowledge he had about the facts and figures, understanding which year which batsman scored, he knew all the statistics," Arun Jaitley's friend Sunil Sethi shared.
Reminiscing about debate competitions during the SRCC days, Sunil Sethi shared the one thing that he remembers the most about Arun Jaitley. He said:
"The thing that I remember the most is that he used to ride the pillion on my scooter when we went for an inter-college debate and the fact is that his oratory skills are so high that the college would win only because he was the best and my mediocrity together added the point where we won the championship each time and many many times."
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. Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and former PM Dr Manmohan Singh also paid their tributes to the former Union Minister. Former President Pranab Mukherjee praised Arun Jaitley as a leader with deep intellect and knowledge, and a voice of reason.
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.