Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that he lost a ‘valuable friend’ after veteran BJP leader and former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley died in Delhi on Saturday. The prime minister, who’s currently in the UAE, posted a series of tweets to pay his tribute to his former cabinet colleague.
PM Modi wrote, “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!”
His subsequent tweet read, “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 prime minister said that he had spoken to Jaitley’s wife and son and expressed his condolences. “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,” PM Modi added.
Modi said that Jaitley was ‘full of life, blessed with wit, a great sense of humour and charisma.’ Jaitley, according to him, was ‘admired by people across all sections of society.’ He added, “He was multi-faceted, having impeccable knowledge about India’s Constitution, history, public policy, governance and administration.”
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!
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 24, 2019
Jaitley passed away on Saturday after a prolonged illness at the age of 66. He was taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences earlier this month. A press release by AIIMS had said, “It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Shri Arun Jaitley, Hon’ble Member of Parliament & Former Finance Minister, Government of India at 12.07 pm on 24th August 2019.”