Late Arun Jaitley served as a Union Finance Minister and held charge of Defence portfolio for two brief periods under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was also a minister under Atal Bihari Vajpayee between 1999 and 2004.
New Delhi: BJP chief J P Nadda and Union ministers, including Amit Shah and Dr S Jaishankar, on Wednesday, August 24, paid homage to the former Minister and their esteemed party colleague Arun Jaitley on his second death anniversary.
"Arun Jaitley had wide knowledge about the constitution, a great debater and was also a popular leader," Home Minister Amit Shah wrote in his tweet in Hindi. Late Jaitley had contributed memorably to the country's polity, he said.
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar wrote in his message: "Tribute to Shri Arun Jaitley ji, with his large heart and great mind. His contribution to India’s progress is beyond measure."
BJP national president J P Nadda said that Late Jaitley had contributed immensely to the country and the BJP as an organisation.
Late Jaitley served as a Union Finance Minister and held charge of Defence portfolio for two brief periods under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was also a minister under Atal Bihari Vajpayee between 1999 and 2004, holding portfolios like Information and Broadcasting and Commerce.
From 2009 he was Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, and his debating skills even left political detractors impressed.
Born December 28, 1952, he breathed his last on August 24, 2019. Some of his best debates were during the Lokpal crisis and on the Liberhan Commission report on Ayodhya and GST Bill.
Earlier in 2002, he was one of few leaders who defended Narendra Modi strongly for the post-Godhra riots. For long – he was the real 'Delhi' contact – the eyes and ears – of Narendra Modi. On the political front, he was hailed as a 'good poll manager' as he often brought electoral success to the saffron party – in states like Gujarat and Bihar. Despite falling ill, Jaitley took a key part in BJP's election campaign in 2019, and though he was a member of the Rajya Sabha, he did not join the cabinet because of health reasons. In fact, on the eve of swearing-in, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had gone to his house to see his 'ailing friend'.
Political rival S Jaipal Reddy of Congress would, however, differ: "He is a successful poll manager for BJP, but he contested no big election."
He was the darling of media – especially the BJP beat correspondents for years. He was called 'Bureau Chief' as he knew a galaxy of journalists by their first name. He also knew how to mock journalists, and many also said – his wit was often not grasped well by capital's journalists. Once to a crowded group of scribes in his office, Late Jaitley had said – "Well then, many journalists are standing and most of the others are outstanding."
Some of his 'friends' often joked that Jaitley could have been a good newspaper editor, too. The grapevine in the media has been – he knew how to plan stories for journalists and would give them 'leads'. Some bitter detractors among BJP leaders more often complained that he also knew how to 'plan' stories for or against many politicians.