New Delhi, Aug 24, 2019: Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, who was finance minister and ace troubleshooter in the previous Narendra Modi cabinet passed away at Delhi’s AIIMS hospital on Saturday of a kidney ailment. He was 66.
Jaitley was admitted to the Cardio-Neuro-Centre of AIIMS a few days ago after he complained of palpitations and restlessness. He was kept under observation through the day, with a team of doctors including endocrinologists, cardiologists and nephrologists monitoring him.
With his condition turning critical late in the evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla among others rushed to AIIMs. Shortly afterward the hospital issued a statement saying he was haemodynamically stable".
A lawyer by profession, Jaitley was the most important leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet during his first tenure and acted as the chief troubleshooter for the government, especially during crucial times of demonetisation and GST rollout.
He did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections after he underwent a surgery in January in the United States reportedly for soft tissue cancer, and subsequently opted to sit out of the 2019 Modi cabinet.
Jaitley had undergone a renal transplant in May last year and did not attend office from April 2018 to August 23, 2018. During both these instances minister Piyush Goyal filled in for him.
Jaitley was a member of BJP national executive since 1991 . He was appointed minister of state (independent charge) for Information and Broadcasting when Atal Bihari Vajpayee formed the government in 1999, and then also went on to handle the crucial portfolio of disinvestment . A year later he became a cabinet minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs.
Inputs from Economic Times