Jaitley’s demise leaves deep void, irreparable loss to nation, say leaders as tributes pour in
New Delhi, Aug. 24 (PTI): Leaders hailed Arun Jaitley’s contribution to the nation in various capacities recalling his deep intellect, poise and passion, as tributes poured in from the BJP, allies and the opposition on his demise on Saturday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he has lost a “valued friend” who had “few parallels”.
Jaitley’s demise at AIIMS on Saturday after battling a host of health issues for months drew heartfelt condolences from leaders across the country, underlining the warm personal ties he had across political fault lines.
President Ram Nath Kovind described the 66-year-old politician as a brilliant lawyer, a seasoned parliamentarian and distinguished minister, who contributed immensely to nation-building.
“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,” Kovind 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”.
“His death is an irreparable loss to the nation and a personal loss to me. I have no words to express my grief,” he said.
Remembering Jaitley, Modi, who is on a three-nation tour, said he had lost a valued friend, whom he had the honour of knowing for decades.
His insight on issues and nuanced understanding of matters had very few parallels, he said, adding that Jaitley lived well, leaving his colleagues with innumerable happy memories.
Noting that Jaitley held multiple ministerial responsibilities during his long political career, the prime minister said it enabled him to contribute towards India’s economic growth, strengthening our defence capabilities, creating people friendly laws and enhancing trade with other nations.
BJP president and Home Minister Amit Shah said Jaitley left an indelible mark in implementing the prime minister’s vision for the welfare of poor and placing India as the world’s fastest economy.
“Given his varied experience and unique abilities, Arun ji has served various responsibilities in the party and government. An exemplary speaker and a dedicated activist, Arun ji held several important portfolios like the Finance Minister, Defense Minister & LoP in the Rajya Sabha. Nation will always remember him as this benevolent man who always meant good for the people,” Shah said.
Top Congress leaders also condoled the demise of former finance minister Arun Jaitley, with party chief Sonia Gandhi saying his contributions to public life will be remembered forever.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh described Jaitley as an eminent lawyer, an excellent orator, a very good administrator and an outstanding parliamentarian.
Former president Pranab Mukherjee said Jaitley was a leader with deep intellect and knowledge, and a voice of reason. “He will be dearly missed. My prayers with his family, friends and admirers,” he said.
Veteran BJP leader L K Advani, a mentor of Jaitley for long, said his demise was a “huge loss” not only to the BJP and the entire Sangh Parivar, but also to the nation.
The senior leader also said that Jaitley was known and respected for his “sharp, analytical mind and everyone in the BJP always depended on him for finding solutions to complex issues.”
BJP ally and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who had strong personal equation with the deceased leader, said he earned respect of all parties due to his personality and politics of high values.
Another BJP ally and Lok Janshakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan said Jaitley was not only a great leader and legal luminary but also a very fine human being.
Recalling his personal ties him, Paswan said as a minister in the Vajpayee government and then the Modi government he worked efficiently and also served a main “trouble shooter” for the BJP. “The country will always remember his contribution as finance minister,” he said.
Key opposition leader and 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.”