A towering political leader and a legal luminary, Arun Jaitley, who served as finance and defence minister in the first NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, passed away in New Delhi after a prolonged illness.
The 66-year-oold Jaitley had cited poor health for not joining the second NDA government.
Tributes poured in from across the political spectrum at the demise of Jaitley. “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 nuanced understanding of matters had very few parallels. He lived well, leaving us all with innumerable happy memories. We will miss him!” tweeted PM Modi, who is currently on a visit to the UAE.
“Arun Jaitley Ji was a political giant, towering intellectual and legal luminary. He was an articulate leader who made a lasting contribution to India. His passing away is very saddening. Spoke to his wife Sangeeta Ji as well as son Rohan, and expressed condolences. Om Shanti,” said the prime minister.
“Full of life, blessed with wit, a great sense of humour and charisma, Arun Jaitley Ji was admired by people across all sections of society. He was multi-faceted, having impeccable knowledge about India’s Constitution, history, public policy, governance and administration,” said PM Modi.