Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday the presence of political leadership across the board to honour Girdhari Lal Dogra, the former finance minister of Jammu and Kashmir, on his birth centenary said a lot about the late Congress leader who lead his life with integrity and humility.
"Dogra Sahab had cordial relations with people like Sheikh sahab (former chief minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah) and Pandit Prem Nath Dogra (leader of the Praja Parishad). This is the way he led his life," said Jaitley while addressing a function organised to mark the birth centenary celebrations.
Prem Nath Dogra was a fiery opponent of Sheikh Abdullah, who opposed the Dogra rule in Kashmir. With Maharaja Hari Singh, the last ruler of Kashmir, he started Praja Parishad to press for the formation of modern-day Jammu and Kashmir.
Dogra was the state's finance minister for over two decades and a member of Parliament from Udhampur-Doda and Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha constituencies. The veteran Congress leader is also the father-in-law of Jaitley.
Chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed (PDP), deputy chief minister (BJP) and Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad and Dr Karan Singh were also present during the ceremony.
Jaitley, who accompanied Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Dogra's birth centenary celebrations in Jammu, said the former finance minister had to face criticism from within his party because of his friendly equation with his opponents.
"Dogra sahab never lost an election and presented 26 budgets as the then finance minister. He was a man of high integrity. I never heard him complaining," said Jaitley.
PM Modi, who arrived in Jammu to attend the event to honour Dogra, also attended a photo exhibition on his life along with Sayeed, Jaitley, state governor NN Vohra and other dignitaries.
Speaking during the centenary celebrations, Modi said, "There is never a question of political untouchability. Everyone who has worked for the nation is to be respected."