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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Delhi was close to Arun Jaitley’s heart

Jaitley was closely associated with politics in the city and played a crucial role in finding young leader to induct in the BJP’s local unit.

delhi Updated: Aug 25, 2019 09:24 IST

Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Arun Jaitley was closely associated with politics in the city.
Arun Jaitley was closely associated with politics in the city. (HT FILE)
         

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley had his stamp on every big decision the central leadership took to strengthen the party in the national capital, especially in encouraging and inducting young leaders into the Delhi unit.

Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel, who had been working closely with Jaitley since 1971 when the two of them were in Delhi University, said, “He was always consulted for Delhi-related matters. He had a good understanding of Delhi’s issues and would push for development of the city.”

Jaitley was closely associated with politics in the city and played a crucial role in finding young leader to induct in the BJP’s local unit. He played an important role in shaping the political careers of some of them.

“He knew people at the grassroots level in Delhi. People would go and seek his advice on various matters. He played an important role in giving a new lease of life to the state BJP by pushing young leaders and giving them important roles,” said BJP member of the legislative assembly Vijender Gupta, a former Delhi BJP chief.

The party in 2013 appointed sitting councillor Satish Upadhyay as the state chief. In a big shift from its past tradition—only Punjabis and members of the trading community had held the post of state chief till 2016-- the party appointed Bhojpuri actor and North East Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari as the state chief. Senior party members say that the decision to appoint a Purvanchali as the state chief had Jaitley’s backing.

In the recent Lok Sabha elections, Jaitley backed former cricketer Gautam Gambhir’s candidature from the East Delhi parliamentary constituency. Gambhir joined the party in Jaitley’s presence.

“A father teaches you to speak but a father figure teaches u to talk. A father teaches u to walk but a father figure teaches u to march on. A father gives u a name but a father figure gives u an identity. A part of me is gone with my Father Figure Shri Arun Jaitley Ji. RIP Sir,” tweeted Gambhir, now the MP from East Delhi.

Apart from Delhi’s politics, he was keenly involved in sports. He was a former president of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). Virendra Sachdeva, a member of the DDCA, said, “He focused to ensure the best facility to sportspersons. It was he who initiated the upgradation of Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.”

Delhi BJP President Tiwari said, “This is a great loss to the nation because the country has lost a great economist, advocate and a great speaker. Jaitley ji had great affection for the people of Delhi. He had been guiding the Delhi BJP from time to time. It is very difficult to fill the void created by his death. May God bestow peace to his soul and his family the strength to bear this loss. The country will never forget his contribution.”

First Published: Aug 25, 2019 04:54 IST