‘I have lost a valued friend’, PM Modi mourns Arun Jaitley’s death
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday mourned the death of former Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, saying he has lost a valued friend.
Modi who is in the UAE on the second leg of a three-nation visit tweeted, “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!
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He also described Jaitley as a political giant, towering intellectual and legal luminary.
“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.”
Modi hailed Jaitley for his role during the Emergency to protect India’s democracy.
“BJP and Arun Jaitley Ji had an unbreakable bond. As a fiery student leader, he was at forefront of protecting our democracy during the Emergency. He became a much liked face of our Party, who could articulate the Party programmes and ideology to a wide spectrum of society,” the PM said.
Modi said that Jaitley held multiple ministerial responsibilities during his long political career which enabled him to contribute towards India’s economic growth, strengthening our defence capabilities, creating people friendly laws and enhancing trade with other nations.
Modi had handpicked Jaitley to be the finance minister after the NDA swept to power in 2014. When the late Manohar Parrikar left the defence ministry to take charge as Goa’s chief minister in March 2017, Modi gave temporary charge of the ministry to Jaitley.
Jaitley who had been battling a series of illnesses had asked Modi to exclude him from the government earlier this year.
He died of multiple organ failure at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, Saturday , two weeks after he was admitted on August 9.
Jaitley was the second BJP stalwart to die in less than three weeks after former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj died on August 6.