New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday described Arun Jaitley as a "valued friend" whose insights and nuanced understanding of matters had "very few parallels" as he condoled the death of the senior BJP leader who was one of his close confidants for decades.
Modi, who is in the UAE on an official tour, said the former finance minister was full of life, blessed with wit, a great sense of humour and charisma.
Official sources said the prime minister spoke to the the wife and son of Jaitley, who died at AIIMS on Saturday, and expressed his condolences. Both of them insisted that he does not cancel his foreign tour.
In his tweets, Modi said Jaitley was admired by people across all sections of society, adding that he was multi-faceted, had impeccable knowledge about India's Constitution, history, public policy, governance and administration.
With the demise of Arun Jaitley Ji, I have lost a valued friend, whom I have had the honour of knowing for decades. His insight on issues and nuanced understanding of matters had very few parallels. He lived well, leaving us all with innumerable happy memories. We will miss him!— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 24, 2019
"With the demise of Arun Jaitley Ji, I have lost a valued friend, whom I have had the honour of knowing for decades. His insight on issues and nuanced understanding of matters had very few parallels. He lived well, leaving us all with innumerable happy memories. We will miss him!" he said.
Noting that Jaitley held multiple ministerial responsibilities during his long political career, he said it enabled him to contribute towards India's economic growth, strengthening our defence capabilities, creating people friendly laws and enhancing trade with other nations.
Modi also recalled his contribution to the BJP.
"BJP and Arun Jaitley Ji had an unbreakable bond. As a fiery student leader, he was at forefront of protecting our democracy during the Emergency. He became a much liked face of our Party, who could articulate the Party programmes and ideology to a wide spectrum of society," he said.
Jaitley's demise 'big loss' for country
Attorney General K K Venugopal termed the passing away of senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Arun Jaitley as a "big loss" for the country, his party and the legal fraternity.
Describing Jaitley as the brain behind managing difficult situations faced by the BJP, Venugopal said he had lost a "friend" who was an excellent lawyer and an equally good politician.
Condoling the death of the former Finance Minister, Venugopal told PTI: "His death is not only a loss for the country but also the legal community and his political party."
"We all will be missing him and his memory will last for long future to come (sic)," he added.
Politician appreciated across parties
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed sadness over the demise of former Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, and said he was a politician who was "appreciated across parties".
"Extremely saddened at the passing away of Arun Jaitley Ji, after a battle bravely borne. An outstanding Parliamentarian & a brilliant lawyer, appreciated across parties. His contribution to Indian polity will be remembered. My condolences to his wife, children, friends & admirers," Banerjee said in a statement.
Extremely saddened at the passing away of Arun Jaitley Ji, after a battle bravely borne. An outstanding Parliamentarian & a brilliant lawyer, appreciated across parties. His contribution to Indian polity will be remembered. My condolences to his wife, children, friends & admirers— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) August 24, 2019
Served the nation, sangathan with dedication
Union minister Smriti Irani condoled the death of former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, calling him a stalwart who served the nation and his 'sangathan' (organisation) with "dedication and zeal".
"A stalwart who paid tribute to his simple beginnings by helping those with meagre means. Orator par excellence, legal luminary @arunjaitley ji served the Nation and sangathan with dedication and zeal. My tributes to him. Condolences to loved ones. Om Shanti," tweeted the Women and Child Development and Textiles Minister.