NEW DELHI: BJP stalwart and party troubleshooter Arun Jaitley died on Saturday at AIIMS. He died at 12.07 pm. It was during his tenure as finance minister that NDA took crucial decisions to curb black money, implemented GST — ‘one nation, one tax’ and brought in demonetisation.
Mr Jaitley, 66, was admitted in AIIMS on August 9. The AIIMS sources had earlier said he was on life support.
As soon as his death was reported, leaders cutting across party lines paid rich tributes with Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling him a “valued friend”.
The AIIMS sources had earlier said he was on life support. In May this year, Mr Jaitley was admitted to AIIMS for treatment. He underwent a surgery in US in January this year. Mr Jaitley had undergone a renal transplant on May 14 last year at AIIMS. In September 2014, he underwent bariatric surgery to correct the weight he had gained because of a long-standing diabetic condition. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Abu Dhabi, spoke with Mr Jaitley’s wife Sangeeta and son Rohan to express his condolences.
According to sources, Mr Jaitley’s wife and son insisted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not cut short his three-nation tour following his demise. “Both of them insisted that PM does not cancel his current foreign tour,” he said. The Prime Minister is on a visit to France, UAE and Bahrain. Mr Modi is due to return after attending the G-7 Summit in France on Monday. “With the demise of Arun Jaitley Ji, I have lost a valued friend, whom I have had the honour of knowing for decades. His insight on issues and nuance understanding of matters had very few parallels. He lived well, leaving us all with innumerable happy memories. We will miss him,” Mr Modi tweeted.
Leaders cutting across party lines reached AIIMS to pay last respect to Mr Jaitley. Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla, Union minister Smriti Irani, Dr Jitendra Singh and Dr Harsh Vardhan and BJP working president J.P. Nadda were first to reach the AIIMS.Late Atal Behari Vajpayee’s foster daughter Namita Kaul also laid wreath on Mr Jaitley’s body. Late BJP leader Sushma Swaraj’s daughter Bansuri Swaraj also visited Jaitley’s residence.
Thousand of BJP workers and neighbours of the departed leaders in Kailash Colony also paid their last respect to Jaitley....