Arun Jaitley, former finance minister and a stalwart of the Bharatiya Janata Party, was given a tearful farewell with full state honours on Sunday. His mortal remains were consigned to flames at Delhi's Nigambodh Ghat, as his family members and prominent people from various fields braved heavy rains to bid him adieu.
Arun Jaitley's son Rohan Jaitley performed the last rites of the former Union minister, who passed away on Saturday afternoon after a prolonged illness.
— ANI (@ANI) August 25, 2019
The BJP top brass including Amit Shah, LK Advani, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Irani, Nirmala Sitharaman, and others attended the funeral. The former finance minister passed away at the age of 66 at the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences, New Delhi on Saturday. He was admitted to the AIIMS earlier this month after he complained of breathlessness. He was placed under observation at the hospital's Cardio-Neuro-Centre. Earlier in the day, the body of Jaitley was brought to the BJP headquarters in Rouse Avenue from his South Delhi house in a vehicle adorned with white flowers with huge life-size portraits of the leader both at the front and back. Remembering Jaitley, BJP supporters walking with the vehicle chanted 'Jab tak sooraj chand rahega, Jaitley tera naam rahega' (Your name will be alive as long as sun and moon are there). On Saturday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid an emotional tribute to Jaitley, saying he cannot imagine that he was far away from India in Bahrain while his "dear friend" and party colleague passed away in New Delhi.
My friend Arun Jaitley loved India, loved his party and loved being among people. It is upsetting and unbelievable that a person I have known since our youth is no longer in our midst. I pay my tributes to him. pic.twitter.com/lFkCXxfxqS — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 24, 2019
Ex-finance minister was Modi's 'consensus man'
Jaitley, a lawyer by profession, had been an important part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet in the BJP government's first term. He held the finance and defence portfolios, and often acted as the chief troubleshooter of the government.
As Union finance minister in the first Narendra Modi-led government, he had spearheaded the NDA government's policy to implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Jaitley was known to be a leader who could communicate the BJP's vision to the aspirational, urbane sections of society in an effective manner. During the first Modi-led government (and the initial few months of the Modi government's second tenure), he articulated the BJP's views on numerous issues of national importance in his blog posts.
As this article by Dinesh Unnikrishnan points out, Jaitley was "Narendra Modi’s consensus man between 2014-19 when historic reforms, mainly the GST and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), finally turned into a reality after getting stuck in a political tug-of-war for more than a decade."
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Aug 25, 2019 16:31:17 IST