From acting as an ace troubleshooter when it came to balancing the dynamics of coalition politics, to stepping up to helm key ministries in the NDA government whenever he was needed, Arun Jaitley was a force to reckon with within his party. But it was his jovial nature and ability to engage even with the most bitter adversaries that endeared him to all not only in politics but among prominent businessmen, journalists, and bureaucrats.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first leaders to mourn his loss in a series of tweets.
In a series of five tweets, Modi wrote, "BJP and Arun Jaitley Ji had an unbreakable bond. As a fiery student leader, he was at the 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."
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
Like Modi, Amit Shah also recalled Jaitley's unparalleled wit and jovial nature in a series of tweets, while also recounting his contribution as finance minister.
"The lively and joyful nature of Arun ji has always left a lasting impression on every person who ever met him. Today, his demise has created a great void in Indian polity and in the Bharatiya Janata Party which can not be filled easily in the years to come," Shah tweeted.
Arun ji left an indelible mark as the Finance Minister of the country during Modi government's first term (2014-19) and made defining efforts in realising PM Modi's vision of prioritising welfare of the poor and to make India as the world's fastest growing economy.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 24, 2019
Rajnath Singh said that Jaitley will always be credited for putting the Indian economy back on track as the finance minister.
Jaitleyji will always be remembered for pulling the economy out of the gloom and putting it back on the right track.
The BJP will miss Arunji’s presence. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) August 24, 2019
President Ram Nath Kovind remembered Jaitley as a "brilliant lawyer, seasoned parliamentarian and a distinguished minister" and extended condolences to Jaitley's family.
Shri Arun Jaitley possessed a unique ability of discharging the most onerous responsibility with poise, passion and studied understanding.
His passing leaves a huge void in our public life and our intellectual ecosystem. Condolences to his family and associates #PresidentKovind
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 24, 2019
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu remembered Jaitley not only for his contribution to policy changes like GST, insolvency law but also for his role as a leader in the Rajya Sabha.
जीएसटी, दिवालिया कानून जैसे क्रांतिकारी सुधार के लिए देश श्री जेटली की सकारात्मक योगदान को सदैव स्मरण करेगा। राज्य सभा के नेता के रूप में श्री जेटली जी योगदान, मेरे और सदन के लिए अभिनंदनीय था। उनके तार्किक भाषणों को सदन सदैव याद करेगा।
— VicePresidentOfIndia (@VPSecretariat) August 24, 2019
Politicians who usually found themselves on the opposite side of a debate with Jaitley and were acrimonious critics of his party and policies, also said that his demise was a great loss.
The Congress said it was deeply saddened to hear about the passing away of Jaitley.
"We are deeply saddened to hear the passing of Shri Arun Jaitley. Our condolences to his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of grief," the party said on its Twitter handle.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said, "Deeply saddened to know of untimely demise of former Union minister and senior BJP leader, Sh Arun Jaitley. My heartfelt condolences to his family members. May God give them strength. May his soul rest in peace (sic)."
Congress leader and senior advocate Kapil Sibal too remembered Jaitley as an unparalleled Leader of Opposition.
"Very sorry to learn that Arun Jaitley is no more . An old friend and a dear colleague will be remembered for his seminal contributions to the polity and as FM of India . As Leader of Opposition he was without match . He always stood steadfastly for his friends and for his party. Which BJP leader has stood up and publicly advised the Prime Minister and his party to “stop demonising the Opposition and it’s leaders ?," Sibal said on Twitter.
Together in cricket. pic.twitter.com/BYJpakfPk6
— Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) August 24, 2019
Extremely saddened at the passing away of Arun Jaitley Ji, after a battle bravely borne. An outstanding Parliamentarian & a brilliant lawyer, appreciated across parties. His contribution to Indian polity will be remembered. My condolences to his wife, children, friends & admirers
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) August 24, 2019
Deeply saddened by the tragic passing of my friend&DelhiUniv senior @arunjaitley. We first met when he was at DUSU& I was President of StStephen’sCollegeUnion. Despite political differences we enjoyed a healthy mutual respect&debated his Budget often in LS. A great loss4India pic.twitter.com/RzxO1V6NTV
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) August 24, 2019
Jaitley, who shared a good rapport with journalists with various political leanings was mourned in the media circles as well.
RIP #ArunJaitley...Cannot imagine covering BJP without him..a friend to me always...
— Saba Naqvi (@_sabanaqvi) August 24, 2019
#ArunJaitley , my dear and close friend for 5 decades, is no more. In his passing away, #India has lost an able administrator, a fine jurist and an incorruptible politician. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Om Shanti. @arunjaitley
— Rajat Sharma (@RajatSharmaLive) August 24, 2019
Jaitley, who was a lawyer and also served as the law minister, was remembered fondly by various lawyers and legal luminaries.
Senior lawyer Indira Jaisingh remembered Jaitley for his professionalism and said that he was a dignified opponent, both inside and outside the court.
I will always remember ARUN Jaitley as a professional colleague , a first class lawyer , a dignified opponent in court and outside court ,I will miss him RIP.
— indira jaising (@IJaising) August 24, 2019
Supreme Court lawyer Karuna Nandy recalled Jaitley's acts of compassion to lawyers of different ideological leanings.
Really sad to hear this. Arun Jaitley supported lawyers across the political spectrum. He was so generous to his team that a staff member's child went abroad to study with Mr. Jaitley's support while his own child chose to go to a Delhi college. Rest in Peace. https://t.co/kmusrU4uA8
— Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) August 24, 2019
Updated Date: Aug 24, 2019 20:58:55 IST