Former finance minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley passed away at the age of 66 on Saturday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi.

Jaitley was admitted to AIIMS on 9 August following complaints of breathlessness and uneasiness. He was being attended by a team of health experts and was kept under observation since then.

Arun Jaitley had not been keeping well for the past couple of years. He also did not contest the Lok Sabha elections this year owing to poor health.

The former minister had undergone treatment in the US for soft tissue cancer earlier this year. He also had a renal transplant on May 14 last year. His office was taken over by Piyush Goyal in the meantime. He was back in the ministry on August 23.

Jaitley’s last rites will be performed on Sunday. His mortal remains will first be taken to BJP headquarters after family & friends pay their last respect at home and then he will be cremated will full state honours.

A lawyer by profession, Jaitley proved to be one of the most important leaders in the Vajpayee and Modi governments. He was the go-to troubleshooter in their cabinets.

Jaitley was given the charge of three ministries when he joined Modi Cabinet in 2014 -Jaitley was in charge of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Defence and Information and Technology.

While his political career was replete with multiple ups and downs, he will be best remembered for reforms such as GST, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, implementing Jan Dhan and carrying through Aadhaar-based direct benefit transfer to as many as 55 schemes.

Following the news of his demise, leaders across political parties came together to mourn the stalwart’s death.

President Ramnath Kovind also took to twitter to extend condolences to the bereaved family. Expressing grief, President remembered Jaitley as a brilliant lawyer, a seasoned parliamentarian and a distinguished minster who contributed immensely to nation building.

Soon after receiving the news, Prime Minister Modi who is in United Arab Emirates as part of his three-nation visit, spoke to Jaitley’s wife and children and conveyed his deepest condolences.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “I have lost a valued friend, whom I have had the honour of knowing for decades.”

BJP chief and Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Jaitley’s death was a personal loss for him.

“I am deeply saddened by the death of Arun Jaitley, Jaitley’s departure is a personal loss for me. As him, I have lost not only a senior leader of the organization but also an integral member of the family whose support and guidance I have been receiving for years,” Shah tweeted.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “Jaitleyji will always be remembered for pulling the economy out of the gloom and putting it back on the right track. The BJP will miss Arunji’s presence. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family.”

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter reminiscing his time together with Jaitley in college. He said, “We first met when he was at DUSU & I was President of St Stephen’s College Union.”

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called Jaitley’s demise a huge loss for the nation.

“Untimely demise of former FM and senior leader Sh Arun Jaitley ji is a huge loss to the nation. A legal luminary and an experienced political leader known for his governance skills will be missed by the country. Thoughts and prayers with his family in this moment of grief. RIP,” he said.

Reactions also poured in from the leaders of northeastern states. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal took to twitter to extend his condolences saying.

Extremely saddened to learn the demise of Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Ji. An inspiration and guide, we have lost a tower leader whose contribution towards shaping the growth story of new India is unparalleled. My Deepest condolence in this hour of grief.

Assam Health & Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also took to twitter to express his grief.

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma expressed his deepest condolences to the ex-finance minister’s bereaved family.

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh also took to Twitter and expressed his grief at the passing away of former finance minister.

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