Hundreds of BJP workers gathered outside Arun Jaitley’s residence for a last glimpse
Hundreds of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers gathered outside Arun Jaitley’s residence on Saturday evening to get a last glimpse of the late senior party leader. Jaitley, a former finance minister of India, died of multiple organ failure at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the afternoon. He was 66.
It was around 3.30 pm that his mortal remains were taken to his residence in south Delhi’s Kailash Colony. By then, a large number of party workers and neighbours had already gathered in the neighbourhood.
Narayan Jha, a 44-year-old BJP worker based in Delhi who was part of the crowd outside Jaitley’s residence, recalled him as the senior party leader for whom he had set the stage and decorated function halls on multiple occasions. On Saturday, he had to perform a similar assignment one last time before Jaitley’s body is taken to the party headquarters on Sunday ahead of the cremation.
“On many occasions, I have set stages, decorated tents and halls in programmes where he [Jaitley] was chief guest or speaker,” said Jha. He soon received a phone call and started to rush tot he party’s head office in central Delhi’s Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg.
As he left with a few other party workers, he said, “I have to go to the party head office and help with some arrangements for setting up the central hall which will be crowded with visitors tomorrow and we have to accommodate over a hundred party workers who will be spending the night in the part office today.”
All major roads and lanes leading to Jaitley’s residence were barricaded by the police as the size of the crowd swelled and many political leaders arrived to pay homage to the late leader.
Among the leaders who arrived at Jaitley’s residence were President Ram Nath Kovind, Union home minister Amit Shah, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, defence minister Rajnath Singh, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, Delhi’s lieutenant governor Anil Baijal and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
There were many commoners too. Pankaj Kumar, a rickshaw puller who lives in a slum cluster near Kailash Colony, said that he had seen Jaitley on multiple occasions near his residence, but only through the darkened windows of his vehicle and accompanied by heavy security.
He said, “ I have come to see my leader for the last one time.”