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Veteran BJP leader Arun Jaitley passes away after prolonged illness

A lawyer by profession, Jaitley was the most important leader in Prime Minister Modi's cabinet.

ET Online|
Updated: Aug 24, 2019, 01.55 PM IST
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Arun Jaitley: Tribute to BJP's trusted troubleshooter
Arun Jaitley: Tribute to BJP's trusted troubleshooter
NEW DELHI: Former Union minister Arun Jaitley died at AIIMS on Saturday, the hospital announced.

Jaitley, 66, was undergoing treatment at the hospital for several weeks.

It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Arun Jaitley, the AIIMS said in a brief statement.

Jaitley was rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here on August 9 after he complained of breathlessness and restlessness.

aiims-release
AIIMS' press release




He was kept under observation through the day, with a team of doctors including endocrinologists, cardiologists and nephrologists monitoring him.

With his condition turning critical late in the evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla among others rushed to AIIMs. Shortly afterward the hospital issued a statement saying he was haemodynamically stable".

A lawyer by profession, Jaitley was the most important leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet during his first tenure and acted as the chief troubleshooter for the government, especially during the crucial times of demonetisation and GST rollout.

He became the finance minister in 2014 when BJP led by Narendra Modi swept to power. He also briefly held charge of the defence and information & broadcasting ministries. He was the key force behind a number of government initiatives such as the establishment of the monetary policy committee, liberalisation of the foreign direct investment framework and abolition of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.

As FM, Jaitley steered some of the most far-reaching reforms such as the goods and services tax (GST) and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. His patient negotiations with states were said to have been key in securing their agreement to ensure the rollout of GST in July 2017.

Considered among India’s top lawyers, Jaitley was also a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, entrusted with key portfolios such as commerce & industry, law, corporate affairs and information & broadcasting. He was the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha from 2009 to 2014. Jaitley also served as the General Secretary of the BJP in 2002 and took the same position later on in 2004. In 2009, Arun Jaitley resigned from his post and was appointed as the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha by LK Advani.

He was among the key voices in NDA-1 led by Narendra Modi. He had lost his first parliamentary election from Amritsar in 2014.

Jaitley had a renal transplant in May last year at AIIMS, with Piyush Goyal filling in for him at the time. After having stopped attending office since early April 2018, he was back in the finance ministry on August 23, 2018. He underwent surgery in the US in January this year, forcing him to skip the budget presentation. Goyal presented the interim budget for FY20 in his place. In September 2014, he underwent bariatric surgery to correct the weight he had gained because of a long-standing diabetic condition.

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