New Delhi: Former Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who breathed his last at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Saturday after a prolonged illness, was not only one of the tallest BJP leaders but also the party’s trouble shooter who had an unprecedented acceptability in the opposition ranks.
Probably that explains the condolences that are pouring in after his demise from all quarters. Manipur Governor Najma Heptullah fondly remembered him not only as a former Cabinet colleague but also as a legal luminary saying, “He could speak very well not only on the floor of the House but also inside the court room.”
She remembered the humour that Jaitley would inject into his parliamentary speeches. Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that Jaitley credited merit to his personal equation. Remembering his dedication, Chouhan said, “When he would sit at the Central Election Committee meetings of BJP, it would go on till late at night.”
Even till his last breath, he continued to tweet. Assam BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma called Jaitley “One of modern India’s tallest architects, an accomplished lawyer, outstanding parliamentarian, great administrator.”
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who shared a very close relationship with the former Finance Minister, took to Twitter to say: “Extremely saddened at the passing away of Arun Jaitley Ji, after a battle bravely borne. An outstanding parliamentarian and a brilliant lawyer, appreciated across parties. His contribution to Indian polity will be remembered. My condolences to his wife, children, friends and admirers.”
The Congress from its official handle tweeted: “We are deeply saddened to hear the passing of Shri Arun Jaitley. Our condolences to his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of grief.”
Senior Congress leader and friend from the legal fraternity Kapil Sibal tweeted, “Very sorry to learn that Arun Jaitley is no more. An old friend and a dear colleague will be remembered for his seminal contributions to the polity and as Finance Minister of India. As Leader of Opposition he was without match. He always stood steadfastly for his friends and for his party.”
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal too called the ex-Finance Minister’s death a great loss. “Untimely demise of former Finance Minister and senior leader Arun Jaitley ji is a huge loss to the nation. A legal luminary and an experienced political leader known for his governance skills will be missed by the country. Thoughts and prayers with his family in this moment of grief. RIP,” said Kejriwal.
Former Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge also condoled his death and said, “Deeply saddened to know of untimely demise of former Union minister and BJP leader, Arun Jaitley. A thorough gentleman and articulate lawyer, he will be missed. My heartfelt condolences to his family members. May God give them strength in these trying times.”
Former Union minister and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor also tweeted: “Deeply saddened by the tragic passing of my friend and Delhi University senior Arun Jaitley. We first met when he was at DUSU and I was President of St Stephen’s College Union. Despite political differences we enjoyed a healthy mutual respect and debated his Budget often in Lok Sabha. A great loss for India.”