Leaders across party lines condole Jaitley's death
New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) Former Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who breathed his last at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Saturday after a prolonged illness, was not only one of the tallest BJP leaders but also the party trouble shooter who had unprecedented acceptability in the opposition ranks. Probably that explains the condolences that are pouring in after his demise from all possible quarters.
Manipur Governor Najma Heptullah fondly remembered him not only as a former cabinet colleague but also as a legal luminary, "He could speak very well not only on the floor of the House but also inside the court room". She remembered the humour that Jaitley would inject into his parliamentary speeches.
Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah, who cut short a trip to come back to the national capital after the news broke of Jaitley's death, called it a 'personal loss'. Shah called him 'not only a senior leader of the party but a part of the family'.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh remembered how Jaitley was appreciated across the treasury and opposition benches, "He always had a deep and clear understanding of the issues of the day. His knowledge and articulation won him several friends".
Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that Jaitley credited merit to his personal equation. Remembering his dedication, Shivraj Singh said, "When he would sit at the Central Election Committee meetings of BJP, it would go till late at night. Even till his last breath, he continued to tweet.
Assam leader Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is often referred to as the BJP's Amit Shah of the east, called Jaitley 'One of modern India's tallest architects, an accomplished lawyer, outstanding parliamentarian, great administrator'.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who shared a very close relationship with the former Finance Minister, took to Twitter to say: "Extremely saddened at the passing away of Arun Jaitley Ji, after a battle bravely borne. An outstanding parliamentarian and a brilliant lawyer, appreciated across parties. His contribution to Indian polity will be remembered. My condolences to his wife, children, friends and admirers."
The Congress from it's official handle tweeted: "We are deeply saddened to hear the passing of Shri Arun Jaitley. Our condolences to his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of grief".
Senior Congress leader and friend from the legal fraternity Kapil Sibal tweeted, "Very sorry to learn that Arun Jaitley is no more. An old friend and a dear colleague will be remembered for his seminal contributions to the polity and as Finance Minister of India. As Leader of Opposition he was without match. He always stood steadfastly for his friends and for his party."
Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal too called the ex-Finance Minister's death a great loss. "Untimely demise of former Finance Minister and senior leader 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", said Kejriwal.