‘Miss my friend a lot’: PM Modi remembers Arun Jaitley on his first death anniversary

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Updated: Aug 24, 2020 10:29 AM

PM Narendra Modi was in UAE on an official tour when Arun Jaitley passed away in August 2019.

PM Narnedra Modi remembers friend Aun Jaitley on his first death anniversary.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday remembered his late Cabinet colleague and friend Arun Jaitley on his first death anniversary. The Prime Minister took to Twitter to say “he (Jaitley) diligently served India”.

“On this day, last year, we lost Shri Arun Jaitley Ji. I miss my friend a lot. Arun Ji diligently served India. His wit, intellect, legal acumen and warm personality were legendary. Here is what I had said during a prayer meeting in his memory,” he tweeted, sharing a video of his speech at the condolence meeting held in Delhi for Arun Jaitley last year.

A lawyer, a politician and a cricket administrator, Jaitley’s warm personality and affable manners won him friends across the political spectrum. He was active in student politics and was the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) leader at the Delhi University Campus in the 70s. He became a member of the national executive of Bharatiya Janata Party in 1991.

Jaitley’s dedication to serve the party made him a key BJP leader and a crucial member of the party’s brain trust for decades. He was one of the champions in the party who articulated its policies and ideology.

Jaitley had served as the Union finance minister and Corporate Affairs in the first tenure of the Modi government from May 2014 to May 2019. He also held the Defence portfolio briefly. In the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, Jaitley held the Law and Justice portfolio and others. He served as the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha between 2009 and 2014.

Jaitley suffered from a series of health-related issues and underwent multiple surgeries. He was admitted to the AIIMS on August 9 last year after deterioration in his health. He was put on life-support system on August 17. Jaitley breathed his last on August 24. He was 66.

Prime Minister Modi was in UAE on an official tour when Arun Jaitley passed away.

Besides the Prime Minister, other top BJP leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah and party president JP Nadda, paid rich tributes to Arun Jaitley.

“Remembering Arun Jaitley ji, an outstanding politician, prolific orator and a great human being who had no parallels in Indian polity. He was multifaceted and a friend of friends, who will always be remembered for his towering legacy, transformative vision and devotion to nation,” Amit Shah said.

“Salutes to ex-finance minister Shri Arun Jaitley, a brilliant leader, thinker, Padma Bhushan awardee, on his first death anniversary. The unending contribution of his public welfare policies and schemes in nation building will always be remembered,” BJP national president JP Jadda tweeted.

Arun Jaitley was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award in India, posthumously in 2020.

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