As India mourns the loss of BJP Veteran leader Arun Jaitley on Saturday- August 24, 2019, at Delhi's AIIMS hospital after a prolonged illness, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu has expressed his condolences, speaking to reporters in Delhi. He has talked about the immense respect Jaitley held across party lines. He also expressed his grief as the loss of not just a colleague, but a friend. Reminiscing Jaitley's cabinet career, he said that Jaitley was an exemplary leader who worked under two Prime Ministers.
"I have no words to express my grief. We have been colleagues since student days. He was the leader of Opposition and then leader of the House. Both of us used to discuss issues from time to time. He was known for his articulation and was an outstanding parliamentarian. He was regal eminary, powerful intellectual and an able administrator. A man of impeccable integrity. He worked under Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji and Narendra Modiji," he said.
Talking about Jaitley's many achievements, Naidu said that the former Finance Minister was instrumental in the passage of GST. He also talked about his excellent articulation. Talking about his media-friendly nature, Naidu said that Jaitley had been awarded best parliamentarian award. He expressed grief at the loss the political sphere would feel due to Arun Jaitley's passing away. He said it.
"He dealt with many portfolios and as a minister, he has done excellent work. He has friends across parties and is friendly with the media. He has won the best parliamentarian award. he strove hard and burnt the midnight oil to achieve consensus on GST. Finally, he got it approved by both houses of parliament. He made an immense contribution to public discourse on various issues. He used to articulate complex issues in a simple manner. He was not only a political friend but a personal friend too," he added.
Earlier in the day, AIIMS released a statement announcing that Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had passed away on Saturday, August 24, 2019, after being admitted to AIIMS in New Delhi on August 9. In the press release, AIIMS stated, “It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Shri Arun Jaitley, Hon’ble Member of Parliament & Former Finance Minister, Government of India at 12:07 pm on 24th August 2019. He was 66 at the time of death. His passing marks the loss of a second BJP veteran after Sushma Swaraj.
On the day Jaitley was admitted to AIIMS, the hospital had issued a statement saying that he was being given treatment in the ICU. Under a multidisciplinary team of doctors, he was declared to be hemodynamically stable at that point. Jaitley’s unfortunate demise marks the end of an extraordinary career that has witnessed him holding incredibly important positions at various levels, both in the government and outside. He had the privilege of working under two Prime Ministers.