Former Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was cremated at the Nigambodh Ghat in New Delhi on Sunday with full state honours, ANI reported. Jaitley had died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Saturday afternoon after a prolonged illness. He was 66.
Jaitley’s body was brought to the headquarters of the Bharatiya Janata Party around 11 am, and then taken to the cremation ground for the last rites around 2.30 pm, PTI reported.
Earlier in the morning, senior political leaders across various parties, including Motilal Vora, Sharad Pawar, Praful Patel, Ajit Singh and N Chandrababu Naidu, paid their tributes to Jaitley at his home in Kailash Colony locality, where his body had been since Saturday, reported ANI. Leaders across party lines have paid their tributes to Jaitley. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Home Minister Amit Shah attended the funeral.
On Saturday, several leaders, including President Ram Nath Kovind, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, had offered floral tributes to Jaitley at his home. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is not in the country at present, offered his condolences, calling Jaitley “a political giant, towering intellectual and legal luminary”.
Jaitley was the finance minister in the Narendra Modi government from 2014 to 2019, and briefly held the defence portfolio in 2017. He was unable to present the Union Budget in February 2019 as he was away in the United States for treatment of a form of cancer. He underwent a kidney transplant surgery in 2018.
After the Narendra Modi-led government returned to power in May, Jaitley told Modi he would not be part of the new government. Jaitley said he had faced some “serious health challenges” in the last 18 months.
Arun Jaitley was leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha from 2009 to 2014. In Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government between 1999 and 2004, he held multiple cabinet portfolios including commerce, and law and justice.
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