Published: Mon, August 26, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Former Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley passes away at 66

Former Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley passes away at 66

Chief Minister Pema Khandu paid floral tribute to former union minister Arun Jaitley's portrait during a "shraddhanjali samaroh" organised by the state BJP at its party office here on Sunday.

Home Minister Amit Shah said Arun Jaitley's demise is an unbearable loss to BJP workers. Jaitley, who passed away at the age of 66, had served as the finance minister in the previous BJP government between 2014 and 2019.

Jaitley was admitted to All India Institute Medical Sciences in New Delhi on August 9. AIIMS had not issued a bulletin on Jaitley's health after August 10.

According to a bulletin put out by the AIIMS, the former Union minister passed away at 12:07 pm today. After completing the formalities at AIIMS, Jaitley's mortal remains were brought to his Kailash colony residence.

Chief ministers of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Bihar and Uttarakhand, Devendra Fadnavis, Vijay Rupani, B S Yediyurappa, Nitish Kumar and Trivendra Singh Rawat, respectively, were also there.

A diabetic, his health worsened after he underwent a kidney transplant in May a year ago. He held the finance and defence portfolios.

He had undergone renal transplant on May 14 previous year with Piyush Goyal filling in for him in the finance ministry at that time.

He did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election because of his ill health.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the eulogies, tweeting about the "unbreakable bond" his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party had with his "valued friend" and "political giant" Jaitley, who he said was "full of life, blessed with wit, a great sense of humour and charisma".

While as a finance minister he steered through Parliament major economic legislations such as the nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST) - which had languished for almost two decades, he has also played key role in getting through several other laws such as the bill to ban the Muslim instant divorce practice known as "triple talaq".

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