BJP veteran LK Advani released a statement expressing deep sadness over the demise of his close colleague and former Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, on Saturday. Arun Jaitley passed away on August 24, at AIIMS, New Delhi. In the statement, LK Advani regarded Arun Jaitley as a big luminary in the legal arena, an outstanding parliamentarian and a great administrator. The former BJP chief said that the former Union Minister was known and respected for his sharp, analytical mind, with BJP leaders depending on his for solutions to their issues. LK Advani spoke about the time when he was the BJP President, and said that Jaitley was a dedicated party worker when he was inducted into the party and he rose to become one of the most prominent leaders of the party.
"I am deeply saddened to condole the passing away of yet another close colleague Shri Arun Jaitley ji. Besides being a big luminary in the legal arena, Arunji was an outstanding parliamentarian and great administrator. A dedicated party worker for decades, he was someone who was inducted into the BJP core team when I was party President and he soon rose to become one of the most prominent leaders of the party. Arunji was known and respected for his sharp, analytical mind and everyone in the BJP always depended on him for finding solutions to complex issues," LK Advani said in his statement.
The BJP veteran appreciated Arun Jaitley as someone who valued and nurtured his friendships with people across the political spectrum. LK Advani added that Arun Jaitley will be remembered as a soft-spoken, erudite and warm-hearted person. He also shared an anecdote from their memories together, saying that as a food-lover, Arun Jaitley would never fail to recommend good restaurants to him and would come with his family to wish him and his family on every Diwali. Advani termed Arun Jaitley's passing away a "huge loss" not only for the BJP, but for the entire nation. He called it a "personal loss which has left a huge void". The BJP veteran also extended condolences to Arun Jaitley's wife Sangeeta and his children Sonali and Rohan, along with members of his family.
Read LK Advani's statement condoling the demise of Arun Jaitley:
PM Modi expressed grief on the loss of former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, hailing him for his glorious political career. The Prime Minister called Arun Jaitley's demise a personal loss and said that the former Finance Minister was a great advisor, leader and a friend. He also said that Jaitley's insight on issues and nuanced understanding of matters had very few parallels, adding that BJP and Arun Jaitley shared an unbreakable bond. PM Modi spoke about the long political career of the former Union Minister and said that he held multiple ministerial responsibilities, which enabled him to contribute towards India’s economic growth, strengthening our defence capabilities, creating people-friendly laws and enhancing trade with other nations.
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.