Arun Jaitley: passes on

Former finance minister of India and senior BJP leader Shri Arun Jaitley has died. He was aged 66.

He died on Saturday, more than a week after he was was admitted to AIIMS in Delhi over complaints of palpitations and restlessness, Indian Express reported. He was placed under observation at the hospital’s Cardio-Neuro Centre.

The hospital announced his “sad demise” this morning saying he was treated by a multidisciplinary team of doctors.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla were among the leaders who had visited the senior BJP leader in the hospital.

In May this year, Jaitley was admitted to AIIMS for treatment.

Earlier, citing health reasons, the BJP leader did not contest the Lok Sabha elections. After the Modi government returned to power, he wrote to the Prime Minister that he would like to stay away from “any responsibility” on account of his ill-health.

In 2018, Jaitley underwent a kidney transplant at AIIMS. In a tweet on April 6, 2018, he had said: “I am being treated for kidney-related problems & certain infections that I have contracted.” In September 2014, he had undergone bariatric surgery because of a long-standing diabetic condition.

Born in Delhi in December 1952, Jaitley completed his schooling from St. Xaviers, Delhi and went on to pursue further education in Sri Ram College of Commerce, before completing his law degree from Delhi University. Prior to joining politics he was a practicing lawyer and had worked on the Bofors scandal.

Jaitley’s initiation into politics took place in 1991 when he became a member of the national executive of the BJP and he later became the party’s spokesperson in 1999.

He later took over as the Minister of State, Department of Information and Broadcasting and also Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs. He became a member of the Rajya Sabha for the first time in 2000 from Gujarat.