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Published On: Sat, Aug 24th, 2019

BJP troubleshooter Arun Jaitley passes away at 66

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New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at his office, in New Delhi, Monday, Sept 24, 2018. (PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)(PTI9_24_2018_000051B)

(PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday described Arun Jaitley as a “valued friends” whose insights and nuanced understanding of matters had “very few parallels” as he condoled the death of the senior BJP leader who was one of his close confidants for decades.
Modi, who is in the UAE on an official tour, said Jaitley was full of life, blessed with wit, a great sense of humour and charisma.In his tweets, Modi said Jaitley was admired by people across all sections of society, dding that he was multi-faceted, had 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!” he said.
A lawyer-turned-politician will be as staid an introduction for Arun Jaitley as a cricketer-turned-commentator for Sunil Gavaskar.
A brilliant strategist and one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most trusted colleagues, Jaitley was far more than an accomplished lawyer and many notches above his contemporaries in politics.

The overcrowded grand stage of Delhi’s intoxicating power elite has paused. It has lost one of its main protagonists, who passed away at AIIMS after prolonged illness on Saturday.
Armed with a razor sharp legal mind and ace political acumen, Jaitley slayed his opponents with intellectual finesse, yet maintained a dignity and class that earned him accolades from even those at the receiving end of his diatribe.
Before blossoming into a full-fledged politician, Jaitley had established himself as a shining spark in legal circles. Despite becoming one of the top lawyers in the country, politics seemed his natural calling.
His sprouting at the national scene became imminent after he made his mark as the Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) President in 1974 and got sucked into anti-Emergency movement.
Those were the heady 70s when it was not surprising to see someone from a prestigious institution like Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) representing the student’s bod. The doors for his formal arrival on the national scene were opened in the early 1990s when the nation was at the cusp of social, political and economic transformation.
Jaitley slowly occupied a prime place in BJP’s hierarchy in the shadow of stalwarts of the time Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani.  He made smooth transition from the corridors of the Supreme Court to the chaotic workspace in Shastri Bhawan, first as junior minister in the Vajpayee government.

Jaitley, however, flourished more in Parliament than in the cabinet. After 2004 when the Vajpayee government was voted out in a surprise verdict, Jaitley became the voice of the opposition in the Upper House.  His was no ordinary voice in the Parliament. When he stood up to speak, the government of the day would hear in rapt attention.
It is ironical that the best performing MP failed the people’s test in 2014. Jaitley contested Lok Sabha polls from Amritsar but lost to Captain Amarinder Singh. The electoral debacle did not alter his standing in the BJP.
Despite frequent visits to the hospital and subsequent long recuperating spells, Jaitley continued to be the most important minister in Modi 1.0 until his condition deteriorated further because of multiple ailments.  Jaitley remained physically absent from the election campaign in 2019 but kept the pot of his attacks on the Congress boiling through social media and continued his tirade till the very last days.
His right wing mooring did not deter him from making friends from leaders of all political hues. The boundaries between political ideologies blurred in his family. A Delhi boy , he was also the son-in-law of Jammu, having married staunch Congressman and regional stalwart Girdhari Lal Dogra’s daughter Sangeeta.
Apart from cricket and legal arena, Jaitley was a darling of the media. He was at ease with editors and proprietors and held regular ‘darbar’ with a group of reporters. (With Inputs from agencies).







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