1:21: PM Modi spoke to Arun Jaitley’s wife and son, and expressed his condolences. Both of them insisted that PM does not cancel his current foreign tour.
1:20 PM : President Ram Nath Kovind said, “Extremely saddened by the passing of Arun Jaitley after battling a long illness with fortitude and dignity. A brilliant lawyer, a seasoned parliamentarian, and a distinguished Minister, he contributed immensely to nation-building.”
1:11 PM : Arun Jaitley Passes Away: After Amit Shah, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu also rushes back to Delhi from Chennai.
Former finance minister Arun Jaitley, who was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, on August 9 after he complained of breathlessness, has died.
The 66-year-old veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader and a confidant of Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi, had been put on life support last week.
His health deteriorated late on Friday night, hospital sources had said.
Jaitley did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election presumably because of his ill-health.
In September 2014, he underwent bariatric surgery to correct the weight he had gained because of a long-standing diabetic condition.
He had undergone a renal transplant on May 14 last year at the AIIMS, and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had filled in for him in the finance ministry at that time.
Jaitley, who had stopped attending office since early April last year, was back in the finance ministry on August 23, 2018.
A lawyer by profession, Jaitley had been an important part in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet in the BJP government’s first term.
He held the finance and defence portfolios, and often acted as the chief trouble-shooter of the government.
Jaitley’s death comes on the heels of another former minister and a veteran BJP leader, Sushma Swaraj, who had passed away on August 6.