Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Bharatiya Janata Party leaders remembered former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on his first death anniversary on Monday. Jaitley died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi on August 24 last year.
“On this day, last year, we lost Shri Arun Jaitley Ji,” Modi tweeted. “I miss my friend a lot. Arun Ji diligently served India. His wit, intellect, legal acumen and warm personality were legendary.” The prime minister also tweeted a video of a condolence meet held for Jaitley.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah called Jaitley a “great human being”. “Remembering Arun Jaitley ji, an outstanding politician, prolific orator and a great human being who had no parallels in Indian polity,” he tweeted. “He was multifaceted and a friend of friends, who will always be remembered for his towering legacy, transformative vision and devotion to nation.”
Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi called Jaitley an able administrator. “My tributes to able administrator, effective organiser Late Arun Jaitley Ji on his death anniversary,” he tweeted. “Arun Ji played a pivotal role in ‘Inclusive Development’ of the country.”
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh praised Jaitley’s contribution to the growth of the BJP. “Remembering Arun Jaitley ji on his punyatithi [death anniversary],” Singh tweeted. “Jaitleyji was a stalwart who made a big contribution towards BJP’s growth and rise to power. He made a mark as a successful lawyer, seasoned parliamentarian and effective administrator. I offer my heartfelt tributes to him.”
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh said he had lost a “friend, guide, mentor”. “What #ArunJaitley meant to me, is an enigma even for me,” he said. “For several years, he was virtually a part of my daily routine. It has never been the same after 24th August 2019. Friend, guide, mentor...all in one. He left a void, difficult to fill...at least in our lifetime.”
Bharatiya Janata Party National President Jagat Prakash Nadda praised Jaitley’s contributions to public welfare and nation-building. “Salutes to ex-finance minister Shri Arun Jaitley, a brilliant leader, thinker, Padma Bhushan awardee, on his first death anniversary,” he tweeted. “The unending contribution of his public welfare policies and schemes in nation building will always be remembered.”
Jaitley had served as finance minister as well as defence minister at different times during the first government of Narendra Modi from 2014 to 2019. In 2019, amid failing health, he had requested to be left out of the Cabinet, following the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. On Republic Day this year, he was posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second highest honour.