Addressing the Indian diaspora in Bahrain, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, gave former Finance Minister late Arun Jaitley an emotional tribute. He shared that while the world is celebrating Janmashtami on this day, he was reeling from the personal loss of a friend. Reminiscing their journey together, PM Modi broke down while remembering the many dreams Jaitley and himself had seen for India. He also expressed sorrow at not being able to be in Delhi where his colleague Jaitley breathed his last.
"As the world is celebrating Janmashtami, I am experiencing great pain within me. Since the time I was a student, I shared my political career and my dreams with my friend. At all times we were together and planned our political journey. India's former Defence Minister and Finance Minister- Arun Jaitley left his mortal life today. I cannot imagine that I am so far away when one of my friends passed away," he said.
In a choked voice, PM Modi remembered the loss of another great leader - former EAM Sushma Swaraj. He expressed the great dilemma he faced between duty and friendship. Paying a heartfelt tribute to Arun Jaitley, he prayed that the Lord grant strength to Jaitley's family. He ended his speech on a subdued tone while thanking Bahrain for the opportunity.
"With a heavy heart, this August month has witnessed the death of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Today, my friend Arun has passed away. I face a great dilemma. On one hand, I am bound by duty, on the other hand, I feel emotional at the loss of a friend. Today, from Bahrain, I express my condolences to brother Arun. I pray that in such trying times, God bless his family with strength. And yet again, I thank all of you for the opportunity given to me to speak with you all," he added.
On his arrival, PM Modi was extended a ceremonial welcome at Al Gudaibiya Palace in Manama in the presence of the Bahrain Prime Minister, as shared by MEA. After that, delegations from both countries led by their respective Prime Ministers held a bilateral meeting where three MoUs were exchanged. These MoUs included a collaboration of ISRO and Bahrain's National Space Science Agency, solar project collaboration, and a cultural exchange programme between India and Bahrain, according to MEA. These steps were aimed at intensifying the vibrant bilateral relations.
Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley passed away on Saturday- August 24, 2019, at Delhi's AIIMS hospital after a prolonged illness, bringing an end to an illustrious political career. His passing brings to an end a remarkable political career which witnessed him occupying some of the top-most Cabinet positions. Previously on August 6, Former Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj passed away after having suffered a cardiac arrest in New Delhi. The demise of both leaders was mourned by all political leaders.