NEW DELHI, Aug 24: BJP stalwart and former finance minister Arun Jaitley died on Saturday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here.
He was 66.
In a brief statement, the hospital said Jaitley died at 12.07 pm.
“It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Arun Jaitley, former finance minister of government of India, at 12.07 pm on 24 August,” the AIIMS said.
Jaitley was admitted to the AIIMS on 9 August and was treated by a multi-disciplinary team of senior doctors.
Hospital sources had earlier said he was on life support.
Jaitley, a lawyer by profession, had been a key member of 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.
Jaitley did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election because of his ill-health.
In May this year, Jaitley was admitted to the AIIMS for treatment.
He had undergone a renal transplant on 14 May last year at the AIIMS, with Railways Minister Piyush Goyal filling in for him in the finance ministry at that time.
Jaitley, who had stopped attending office since early April last year, was back in the finance ministry on 23 August, 2018.
In September 2014, he underwent bariatric surgery to correct the weight he had gained because of a longstanding diabetic condition.
Governor, CM offer condolences
Mourning Jaitley’s untimely demise, Arunachal Pradesh Governor BD Mishra in a letter to Jaitley’s widow, Sangeeta, conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.
“With his demise the nation has lost a great visionary, statesman, outstanding parliamentarian, legal luminary, a towering intellectual, and an able administrator who worked selflessly and relentlessly for the good of the nation,” Mishra said in his message.
He recalled Jaitley as a brilliant orator, a man of impeccable integrity, and a great supporter of democratic values.
“He (Jaitley) has left an indelible mark as the finance minister of the country, placing India as the world’s fastest-growing economy. We shall always cherish his fond memory,” the governor said.
“I join the people of Arunachal Pradesh in conveying our sincere and heartfelt condolences to you and members of the bereaved family and pray to almighty god for eternal peace for the departed soul,” Mishra said in his condolence message.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu also expressed deep sorrow over the untimely demise of Arun Jaitley.
“Deeply pained to hear about sad demise of former union minister #ArunJaitley Ji,” the CM tweeted.
“His (Jaitley) passing away is a great loss to our country. An eloquent orator, a visionary leader, he had contributed immensely towards building #NewIndia. My deepest condolence to his family & loved ones,” Khandu tweeted. (PTI with Raj Bhavan & CMO input)