Top Congress leaders condoled the demise of senior BJP leader and former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday. Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi issued a statement, saying that Arun Jaitley's contributions to public life will be remembered forever. Arun Jaitley passed away at the age of 66 at the AIIMS, New Delhi. She expressed deep pain and distress at the untimely passing away fo Arun Jaitley. She said that Arun Jaitley had a long innings as a public figure, Parliamentarian and Minister.
Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi shares a condolence message for Shri Arun Jaitley. pic.twitter.com/19sEA2900u— Congress (@INCIndia) August 24, 2019
Earlier, the Grand Old Party had taken to Twitter and said that it is deeply saddened to hear about Arun Jaitley's sad demise and that their thoughts and prayers are with his family in this time of grief. Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had also issued a statement, expressing his condolences to Arun Jaitley's family. Dr Manmohan Singh called Arun Jaitley an eminent lawyer, an excellent orator, a very good administrator and an outstanding parliamentarian.
We are deeply saddened to hear the passing of Shri Arun Jaitley. Our condolences to his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of grief. pic.twitter.com/7Tk5pf9edw— Congress (@INCIndia) August 24, 2019
Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh expresses his condolences to Smt Sangeeta Jaitley on the passing of former Union Minister Shri Arun Jaitley. pic.twitter.com/TB7UYvOPiy— Congress (@INCIndia) August 24, 2019
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 the 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.
(With PTI Inputs)