Arun Jaitley passes away; cremation today

Kashmir Times. Dated: 8/25/2019 12:00:41 PM

NEW DELHI, Aug 24(Agencies): Arun Jaitley, the former finance minister and a stalwart of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), passed away on Saturday due to prolonged ailment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.
He was 66 years old.
Jaitely was brought to the hospital on August 9 after he complained of palpitations and restlessness. He was kept under observation at the Cardio-Neuro-Centre of the hospital, however, his condition kept on deteriorating.
Arun Jaitley's last rites will be performed on Sunday afternoon at the Nigambodh Ghat in New Delhi.
Jaitley, a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), stepped down as finance minister in January due to ill health, just months before elections that returned Modi-led NDA to power.
“With the demise of Arun Jaitley Ji, I have lost a valued friend, whom I have had the honour of knowing for decades,” PM Modi said on Twitter. “His insight on issues and nuanced understanding of matters had very few parallels.”
Announcing Arun Jaitley's demise, AIIMS issued a statement saying, "It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Shri Arun Jaitley, Hon'ble Member of Parliament and former Finance Minister Government of India at 12:07 pm on August 24, 2019. Arun Jaitley was admitted in AIIMS, New Delhi on 09/08/2019 and was treated by a multidisciplinary team of senior Doctors."
Arun Jaitley was unwell for a large part of the last two years. In 2018, Arun Jaitley underwent a kidney transplant surgery, following which he was put under isolation. Four years earlier, in 2014, Arun Jaitley underwent a bariatric surgery to address the excess weight he had gained due to diabetes.
During the Narendra Modi government's first term in office, Arun Jaitley was seen as the prime minister's 'go-to' man. Jaitley was the one to take on the responsibilities of temporarily handling ministries other than his primary portfolio of finance.
As finance minister, Arun Jaitley presented all of the Narendra Modi government 1.0's budgets. However, due to his ill health, he was unable to present the 2019 Interim Budget, which was instead presented by his colleague Piyush Goyal.
After the Bharatiya Janata Party's victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Arun Jaitley wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting that he not be given any responsibilities in the new government as he wanted to focus on his health.
A lawyer by profession, Arun Jaitley was among the leaders who were jailed by the Indira Gandhi government during the emergency. He was a student leader at the time.
After being released from jail, Arun Jaitley joined active politics as a member of the Jan Sangh and rose through the ranks of the organisation, which later became the BJP.
Jaitley also served on the Atal Bihari Vajapyee cabinet. Between 2009 and 2014, when the BJP sat in the opposition benches, Arun Jaitley served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
Jaitely was the most important leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet during his first tenure and often acted as the chief trouble-shooter for the government.
During the first five years of the Modi government, Arun Jaitley donned several hats. He held the portfolios of Finance Ministry, Corporate Affairs Ministry, Defence Ministry, and Minister of Information and Broadcasting at various times, sometimes, multiple portfolios simultaneously. At one point, Arun Jaitley was India's Defence, Finance and Corporate Affairs minister.
Despite keeping ill, he was indispensable to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Jaitley had an “unsurpassable network of contacts across the political, legal and social spectrum.” Modi needed him to smooth the passage of bills in the Rajya Sabha. He was the go-to guy to keep the NDA running smoothly. He was Modi’s “eyes and ears.”
Arun Jaitely had also been a trusted cabinet minister in Vajpayee government. Between 1999-2004, he was Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting and Law and Justice.
An alumnus of Delhi's St Xavier's School and SRCC college, Arun Jaitely started early in politics. He was an ABVP student leader at the Delhi University campus in the seventies and rose to be the President of the Students Union of Delhi University in 1974. He spent 19 months in jail during the Emergency. Jaitley led the anti-corruption campaign for Raj Narain and Jay Prakash Narain. In the early eighties, he moved from ABVP to BJP, where he was appointed as the leader of the youth wing.
He first assumed Cabinet office during the first term of Vajpayee government. He held several portfolios during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's second stint as the prime minister.
A Rajya Sabha MP between 2000 and 2018 from Gujarat, Arun Jaitley led the opposition in the Upper House during UPA-II. BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, who passed away earlier this week, was Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha during the same duration. Arun Jaitely was elected a Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh in 2019.
His health had kept him out of office during most of the first term of Modi government. Even as he held several key portfolios in the first Modi cabinet, he had to travel a lot for his health issues.
The veteran BJP leader had undergone renal transplant on May 14 last year. Arun Jaitley, who had stopped attending office since early April 2018, was back in the finance ministry on August 23, 2018.
Earlier in September 2014, he underwent bariatric surgery to correct the weight he had gained because of a long-standing diabetic condition.
He did not contest the Lok Sabha elections of 2019 presumably because of his ill health.
Writing a letter to the prime minister, Jaitley had cited health reasons for his decision. Jaitley said staying away from any responsibility will help him concentrate on his treatment and health.
In the letter, Jaitley said it had been an “honour” and a “learning experience” to be part of the Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government.
Jaitley said in the last year-and-a-half, he's had some “serious health challenges.” “My doctors have enabled me to emerge out of most of them,” Jaitley said, before placing his request that he not be given "any responsibility" in the Narendra Modi government's second term.
He was a senior Supreme Court advocate. He served as Additional Solicitor General between 1989 and 1990. During the time, he did the paperwork for the investigations into the Bofors scandal. His clients cover the political spectrum from Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal to Madhavrao Scindia of the Congress to LK Advani of the BJP.
Jaitley was a delegate on behalf of the Government of India to the United Nations General Assembly Session in June 1998 where the Declaration on Laws Relating to Drugs and Money Laundering was approved.
He is survived by his wife Sangeeta and two children Rohan and Sonali, both practice as lawyers. Arun Jaitley's father-in-law, Girdhari Lal Dogra, was a lawyer and a prominent Jammu and Kashmir legislator, who served as the erstwhile state's finance minister for 26 years. Arun Jaitley's father Maharaj Kishen Jaitley was also a lawyer.
J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik expressed grief over the sad demise of former Union Minister Arun Jaitley.
Governor recalled his close relationship with Jaitley since his student union days in 1974, and working together with him during the Jai Parkash Narayan Movement. He remembered the enormous contribution and sacrifices Jaitley had made for the country especially his imprisonment during the Emergency. He recollected their close association during the days when Sh.
Jaitley was nominated as a member of the National Executive of the erstwhile Janata Party and subsequently in the BJP. Governor further stated that he would always remain thankful to Jaitley for his sage advise and humane approach in dealing with various issues from time to time.
In a condolence message, Governor has prayed for peace to the departed soul and strength to the bereaved family in its hour of grief.

 

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