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15-min read

From 'Losing a Margdarshak' to Recalling 'a Political Giant': Leaders Pay Tributes to Arun Jaitley

From Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind to Opposition faces Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, an entire gamut of political leaders visited Jaitley's residence in Delhi to pay their respects.


Updated:August 24, 2019, 11:30 PM IST
From 'Losing a Margdarshak' to Recalling 'a Political Giant': Leaders Pay Tributes to Arun Jaitley
File photo of late Arun Jaitley with Union Minister Piyush Goyal and Anurag Thakur in New Delhi. (Image: PTI)

New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Saturday Jaitley, 66, was admitted on August 9 after he complained of breathlessness and restlessness.

The veteran leader served as finance minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s previous cabinet from 2014 to 2018. He was the Leader of Opposition from 2009 to 2014 in the Rajya Sabha. However, he did not contest the Lok Sabha election in 2019 presumably owing to his health condition. He is survived by his wife Sangeeta, son Rohan and daughter Sonali Jaitley.

Soon after the senior leader passed away, leaders from across the political spectrum condoled his demise. Here is what top leaders said while condoling his death: ​

PM Modi described Jaitley as "a political giant, a towering intellectual and a legal luminary".

Later in Bahrain, Modi paid an emotional tribute to Jaitley, saying he cannot imagine being so far away from India while his dear friend and party colleague had died in New Delhi.

Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu got news Arun Jaitely's demise as his helicopter was about to take off from Chennai for the inauguration of two railway and one defence project at Nellore in Andhra Pradesh. Naidu cut short his programme and is returning to Delhi to pay his last respects. He said, "I am deeply shocked to learn about the demise of Shri Arun Jaitley,a long time  dear friend and one of my closest associates. His death is an irreparable loss to the nation and a personal loss to me. I have no words to express my grief."

Union Home Minister and BJP President Amit Shah said Jaitley was "an exemplary speaker and a dedicated activist" who has served various responsibilities in the party and the government.

Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi also condoled Jaitley's demise and extended his condolences to his family and friends.

Union Minister of Textile and Women & Child Development and BJP leader Smriti Irani said said "legal luminary @arunjaitley ji served the Nation and sangathan with dedication and zeal".

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also offered his condolences on the social media site saying "Jaitleyji will always be remembered for pulling the economy out of the gloom and putting it back on the right track."

Singh said Jaitley "was an asset for the country, for the govt, and for the party."

BJP leader and Jaipur MP Rajyavardhan Rathore paid tributes to Jaitley and remembered him for his wit, humour and inquisitive nature.

BJP National general secretary Ram Madhav, condoling Jaitley's death after a prolonged illness said, "66 or 67 is no age to go."

"I am speechless..." said Minister of Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari on Twitter on the demise of former finance minister Arun Jaitley.

The BJP's national vice chairperson Uma Bharti referred to the former parliamentarian as her elder brother.

Tributes from across the political spectrum continued to trickle in, with Delhi chief minister also mourning the loss of the "legal luminary".

Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa also extended his condolences on the demise of former finance minister Arun Jaitley.

Former Karnataka chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah also took to Twitter to express his grief.

Congress leader and chief minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot offered his condolences to the veteran BJP leader's family via Twitter

JD(S) national President and former Prime Minister of India, HD Deve Gowda called Jaitley "one of the tallest leaders of our country", while recounting his contributions to the various portfolios he handled in the Union cabinet.

West Bengal chief minister Manata Banerjee referred to the departed BJP leader as an "outstanding Parliamentarian & a brilliant lawyer" while paying her tribute.

Deputy chief minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot said on Twitter that it was "a sad day and a great loss for India".

Personalities from other walks of life, like former Infosys chairman TV Mohandas, also extended their condolences.

Biocon chairperson and MD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw tweeted, "Arun Jaitley, Senior BJP Leader And Former Union Minister, Dies At 66 - So very sad to see such a young and dynamic political leader’s life being cut short - he had so much more to contribute to our nation’s development. RIP".

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath tweeted that Jaitley served India with a positive take on politics.

Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri said Jaitley's death was "a huge personal loss."

Tejashwi Yadav of the RJD also offered his condolences.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter reminiscing his time together with Jaitley in college. He said, "We first met when he was at DUSU & I was President of St Stephen’s College Union."

Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said "the mind is distracted" and tweeted:

Member of the Parliament from Punjab's Gurdaspur, Sunny Deol offered his condolences:

The Congress, from its official Twitter handle said that their thoughts and prayers were with Arun Jaitley's family.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Jaitley was a "fine large-hearted person" and paid her tribute.

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh said, "My thoughts are with his family in this time of grief."

Chief minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal referred to Arun Jaitley as a "towering leader, whose contribution towards shaping the growth story of New India is unparalleled."

Former cricketer Anil Kumble said he "fondly remember(s) our conversations around cricket," and paid his respects on Twitter.

Congress leader Digvijay Singh said ,"His death has caused irreparable damage to Indian politics", saying that his prays to God that his soul rest in peace.

Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel also took to Twitter and said "the places occupied by some politicians can never be filled by another."

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal tweeted that the former finance minister's death was a personal loss to him. He also offered his condolences to Jaitley's family.

Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi tweeted "he was the best parliamentarian of our generation"

President of India Ram Nath Kovind tweeted, Arun Jaitley's "death is a great loss to our public life and intellectual field".

Senior advocate at the Supreme Court of India Menaka Guruswamy tweeted "these past few weeks, the Supreme Court Bar has lost two senior colleagues, Sushma Swaraj and today, Arun Jaitley."

Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Shaktikanta Das said that Jaitley was a "unique combination of extraordinary knowledge,sharpness of mind and wisdom."

Author Chetan Bhagat also took to Twitter to express his remorse.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal referred to Arun Jaitley as an elder brother whose demise has left a void behind.

Businessman Robert Vadra was also among those who paid their tributes. He said, "I am saddened to know about the untimely demise of Mr. Arun Jaitley. I remember meeting him on a few occasions and he came across as a very pleasant personality. My heartfelt condolences to his family members. May his soul rest in peace."

BJP leader Pratap Sarangi also tweeted saying, "My Deep condolences to the bereaved family and heartfelt tribute to the untimely demise of Arjunji.The country ll miss him forever for his endless contributions to politics,both inside and outside the parliament.His speeches and participation in the Parliament will immortal him."

Former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Samajwadi party chief Akhilesh Yadav tweeted "Shri Arun Jaitley will always be remembered as a skillful, successful advocate and a gentle politician."

Gautam Adani, Chairman of the Adani Group said, "A gifted orator, dynamic parliamentarian, champion of public policy and a man with an invaluable ability to connect with people from different sections, Mr. Arun Jaitley's vision and progressive thinking has been a catalyst in shaping New India."

Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi offers her condolences over former finance minister Arun Jaitley's demise.

Former President of India PRanab Mukherjee expressed remorse over Jaitley's death saying and said, "Visited him just day before & prayed for his speedy recovery."

China's Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said also paid his respects.

Praising Arun Jaitley as a cultured gentleman who had cordial ties with all cutting across party lines, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami said, "Arun Jaitley's passing away is a huge loss not only for his family but also for his party and the entire Indian nation."

BJP veteran LK Advani offered his respects after former finance minister Arun Jaitley's demise saying, "I am deeply saddened to condole the passing away of yet another close colleague Shri Arun Jaitley ji." Advani lauded him for his contributions to the sphere of law and legislature, and also to his party. He said, "Arunji was known and respected for his sharp, analytical mind and everyone in the BJP always depended on him for finding solutions to complex issues."

LK Advani fondly remembered the late parliamentarian's love for food, "A food lover, he never failed to recommend good restuarants to me. Also on every Deepawali, he made it a point to come with his family to our home to wish us."

Telangana Governor, ESL Narasimhan, prominent leaders including K Chandrasekhar Rao, CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, TD Chief N Chandrababu Naidu, BJP Leaders Bandaru Dattatreya, DK Aruna, TRS working president KT Rama Rao, health minister E Rajender, former minister T Harish Rao, MP Sujana Chowdhary, and others on Saturday condoled the demise of Arun Jaitley and expressed grief.

The RSS remembered Jaitley as a talented and learned leader who made an important contribution towards the development of the country. "This talented and learned leadership is no more now. Jaitley had begun his social and political life at a very young age. The country is progressing on the path of development in various fields for which his contribution was necessary as well as important. May his soul rest in peace," a statement by the party said.

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