Senior BJP leader and former finance minister Arun Jaitley, 66, passed away at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Saturday, August 24.
The 66-year-old leader was rushed to AIIMS on August 9 after he complained of breathlessness and restlessness. Jaitley was put on life support and a multidisciplinary team of doctors were monitoring his condition.
A bevy of politicians -- BJP veteran leader LK Advani, BJP leader Uma Bharti, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Union minister Smriti Irani and Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, visited AIIMS to enquire about Jaitley's health condition.
AIIMS statement on passing away of Arun Jaitley:
"It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Shri Arun Jaitley. Honourable Member of Parliament and former finance minister, government of India at 12:07 pm on 24 August, 2019. Shri Arun jaitley was admitted in AIIMS, New Delhi on 09/08/2019 and was treated by a multidisciplinary team of senior doctors," said AIIMS in a statement.
Reactions pour in
While condoling his death, BJP president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Jaitley's death comes as a personal loss for him. "In the death of Arun Jaitley, I have not only lost a senior leader of the BJP but a member of my family," tweeted Shah.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, "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.
"Extremely sad to hear about passing away of our dear friend,legal brain,sharp mind,astute strategist,seasoned politician,exemplary Parliamentian,exceptional communicator,Sr leader,colleague of years #ArunJaitley will always feel void,could never forget him&contribution Om Shanti," tweeted Union Minister Suresh Prabhu.
The chief troubleshooter of BJP government
The lawyer-turned-politician had been an important part in 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. However, Jaitley did not contest the Lok Sabha 2019 election presumably because of his ill-health.
Jaitley's health condition deteriorated after he underwent a kidney transplant surgery on May 14 last year, following which he was put under isolation. Jaitley also underwent a bariatric surgery to address the excess weight he had gained due to diabetes in 2014.