Arun Jaitley, the former finance minister and a stalwart of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has died. He was 66.
Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has died at Delhi’s AIIMS hospital, days after he was admitted following complaints of breathlessness. He was 66.
In a brief statement, the hospital said Arun Jaitley died at 12.07 pm.
“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.
The veteran BJP leader, who was brought in to the hospital on August 9, had been put on life support and was being monitored by a multidisciplinary team of doctors. Hospital sources had earlier said he was on life support.
Mr Jaitley’s long-time colleague and senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh said he will always be remembered for “pulling the economy out of the gloom and putting it back on the right track.”
“Arun Jaitley ji served the nation in several capacities and he was an asset to the government and the party organisation. He always had a deep and clear understanding of the issues of the day. His knowledge and articulation won him several friends,” Rajnath Singh tweeted.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah along with political leaders like Mayawati, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Nitish Kumar and Yogi Adityanath visited Mr Jaitley in hospital.
In May this year, he was admitted to AIIMS for treatment.
Mr Jaitley, a lawyer by profession, 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.
Mr Jaitley did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election presumably because of his ill-health.
He had undergone a kidney transplant on May 14 last year at AIIMS with Railways Minister Piyush Goyal filling in for him in the finance ministry at that time.
Mr Jaitley, who had stopped attending office since early April last year, was back in the finance ministry on August 23, 2018.
In September 2014, he underwent bariatric surgery to correct the weight he had gained because of a long-standing diabetic condition.