Prime Minister Modi said that he had lost a valued friend and conveyed his condolences to Jaitley’s wife and son.
New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, and several Opposition leaders offered rich tributes to former finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday. Jaitley, 66, passed away at AIIMS here after prolonged illness and is survived by his wife and children. Party leaders from across the political spectrum, offered their condolences and acknowledged his rich contribution to the nation.
Prime Minister Modi said that he had lost a valued friend and conveyed his condolences to Jaitley’s wife and son. "With the demise of Arun Jaitley Ji, I have lost a valued friend, whom I have had the honour of knowing for decades. His insight on issues and nuanced understanding of matters had very few parallels. He lived well, leaving us all with innumerable happy memories. We will miss him!" the Prime Minister said.
Paying tributes to the departed leader, President Kovind said, "A brilliant lawyer, a seasoned parliamentarian, and a distinguished minister, he contributed immensely to nation building".
Vice-president Venkaiah Naidu said that Jaitley’s death was an "irreparable loss" to the nation and a "personal loss" to him. BJP chief and Home Minister Amit Shah condoled the death of Jaitley, saying he has left an indelible mark in implementing the Prime Minister’s vision for the welfare of poor and placing India as the world’s fastest economy.
BJP’s working president J.P. Nadda recalled Jaitley’s fiery speeches in Parliament and said that the senior leader’s smiling face as he dealt with tough situations will always remain with the partymen. "His beliefs will always be our guide. The demise of Arun Jaitley has created a vacuum in Indian politics which can never be filled," said Mr Nadda.
Even Opposition came out for praise for Jaitley, with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi saying his contributions to public life will be remembered forever. Gandhi expressed deep pain and distress at the passing away of Jaitley. Condoling his death, she said Jaitley had a long innings as a public figure, parliamentarian and minister and his contributions to public life will forever be remembered. Former President Pranab Mukherjee said that he had visited him a day back and had prayed for his speedy recovery. "He was a leader with deep intellect and knowledge, and a voice of reason. He will be dearly missed. My prayers with his family, friends and admirers," he said.
In his condolence message, L.K. Advani said that Jaitley was known and respected for his "sharp, analytical mind and everyone in the BJP always depended on him for finding solutions to complex issues."
"He was also someone who valued and nurtured his friendship with people across the political spectrum. As a person, he will be remembered as a soft-spoken, erudite and warm hearted person," he said.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said with the demise of Arun Jaitley, the country has lost "an eminent senior advocate" and "a tall leader". "I am personally, deeply saddened by the passing of Arun Jaitley," the CJI said.