Arun Jaitley: The Politician, Orator & Legal Luminary No More (1952-2019)

New Delhi: Former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley died today at the age of 66. He was undergoing treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.

The former minister, who was admitted to the hospital on August 9, following a complaint of breathlessness and discomfort, was given a life-time and was being supervised by a team of senior doctors. He also underwent dialysis on Thursday.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Union Home Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah as well as political leaders like Mayawati, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Nitish Kumar, Yogi Adityanath and Jai Panda sought information about Jaitley’s condition Visited AIIMS for President Ram Nath Kovind, PM Narendra Modi and leaders cutting across party lines mourn the demise of the former finance minister.

Jaitley, a lawyer by profession but a heartfelt politician, had requested PM Modi that he should not be given any major ‘responsibility’ after he discovered kidney diseases. He stayed away from political circles and did not even contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In 2018, he underwent a kidney transplant.

In 1952, Ratan Prabha and Maharaj Kishan Jaitley, best known as the BJP’s master strategist, ventured into politics during the Emergency years. He was also active in student politics in Delhi. He graduated in commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) in 1973 and obtained a law degree after four years.

He was a member of ABVP, BJP’s student wing, and became the President of Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) in 1974. During the Emergency, he was earlier kept under preventive detention in Ambala and Tihar Jails.

Later, Jaitley made a career in law and practiced in Delhi High Court and Supreme Court of India and joined BJP in 1980. After joining VP Singh government in 1989 as Additional Solicitor General of India, he became a member. Party’s national executive in 1991.He joined the 13-month-old government of Atal Bihar Vajpayee in 1999 as the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (MoS). He headed the Ministry of Disinvestment and Commerce, he was given the job of the official spokesperson of the party due to his superb writing skills. He was inducted as a full-time law minister in 2003.

Jaitley first joined Parliament in 2000 as a member of the Rajya Sabha, but was the Leader of the Opposition in the House after the Manmohan Singh-led Congress government came to power. She played an important role in raising important issues in the House on Right to Information, Women’s Reservation Bill and Jan Lokpal Bill.
He contested from Amritsar in 2014, but rejoined the government through the Upper House. Jaitley handled important portfolios like Corporate Ministry, Ministry of Defense after Manohar Parrikar took over as the head of the Goa government, apart from holding all the important posts of Finance Ministry.
From a student leader to the President of DUSU to Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley was a capable leader, a mass leader and a qualified administrator.

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