Port Wings, 28 August 2019:
Within few weeks after the untimely demise of a charismatic leader Sushma Swaraj, nation plunged into sorrow last week when another senior political leader Arun Jaitley, 66, left us. The senior BJP leader died at AIIMS, where he was undergoing treatment for several weeks.
Within minutes the news came to public domain from the hospital, social media platforms went berserk with sorrow after top political leaders paid rich tributes to former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Leading from the front, Prime minister Narendra Modi, who was on a tour to Gulf countries and France for G7 Summit, said he has lost a valued friend, whom he had known 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!” Modi said in a series of tweets.
Modi said Jaitley and the BJP 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.”
In his condolence message, President Ram Nath Kovind said he was extremely saddened. “A brilliant lawyer, a seasoned parliamentarian, and a distinguished Minister, he contributed immensely to nation building,” the President said.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said he was deeply shocked to learn about the demise of Jaitley, whom he described as “a long time dear friend and one of my closest associates”. The Vice President said, “His death is an irreparable loss to the nation and a personal loss to me. I have no words to express my grief.”
In their condolence message, principal opposition party the Indian National Congress said, “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.”
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “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.”
Cutting across party lines, people from all aisles of political spectrum sent put their condolences to the Jaitley family.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “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.”
In the last few months, the BJP lost senior leaders like Anant Kumar, Manohar Parrikar, Sushma Swaraj and now Arun Jaitley.