Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley passed away on August 24, Saturday, after being admitted to AIIMS in New Delhi on August 9, the hospital announced with a statement. Arun Jaitley's unfortunate demise marks the end of an extraordinary career that saw him holding incredibly important positions at various levels. Former President Pranab Mukherjee paid his condolences former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Taking to Twitter on Saturday, Pranab Mukherjee said that he is deeply saddened at the untimely passing away of the former Law Minister. The former President added that he had paid a visit to Arun Jaitley on Thursday and prayed for his speedy recovery. Pranab Mukherjee praised Arun Jaitley as a leader with deep intellect and knowledge, and a voice of reason. The former President said that Jaitley will be deeply missed and extended prayers with his family, friends and admirers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and expressed condolences to the former Finance Minister. The Prime Minister termed the loss as a 'personal one' and said that he spoke to Arun Jaitley's wife and son, expressing his condolences. He regarded Arun Jaitley as a 'political giant', and said that he was an articulate leader who made immense contributions to the country. PM Modi hailed the former Finance Minister as a tall leader and an luminary.
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 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.