PM Modi back in Delhi, his first stop is ‘friend’ Arun Jaitley’s house
Prime Minister Narendra Modi drove down to former union minister Arun Jaitley’s house on Tuesday morning to pay tributes to the BJP stalwart who had been his friend for decades. PM Modi was on an official foreign tour when Jaitley, one of BJP’s tallest leaders, died on Saturday.
PM Modi wrapped up the three-nation tour last night - the G-7 Summit in France was his last stop - and landed in the national capital earlier this morning. Hours later, he was headed to Jaitley’s south Delhi house to meet the former union minister’s family.
A political giant and strategist for the BJP, Jaitley, 66, died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Saturday, where he had been under critical care since August 9.
Also Watch | On the Record | Mukul Rohatgi on Arun Jaitley: Secrets of Lodhi Garden gang
Prime Minister Modi was in UAE when news of Arun Jaitley’s death came in. In tweets, PM Modi described Arun Jaitley as a “political giant, towering intellectual and legal luminary” and an articulate leader who made a lasting contribution to India. PM Modi had then also spoken to Jaitley’s family.
Later addressing the Indian community in Bahrain, Prime Minister Modi spoke again about how he was bound by his duty on one side and on the other, his heart was full of emotions. “I cannot think that I am here in Bahrain and my dear friend Arun Jaitley is no more,” he said in an emotional speech.
PM Modi and Arun Jaitley go back nearly four decades and had worked closely. The bond became closer in the late nineties when Jaitley first became a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat where Narendra Modi had been active. A few years later, Jaitley was among those in the BJP who had pitched to send Modi to Gandhinagar as chief minister. A decade later, Jaitley was among the first in the BJP who backed Narendra Modi as the BJP’s presumptive prime minister for the 2014 national elections.