Former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley has passed away. He was admitted to AIIMS last week for difficulty in breathing. He was placed under observation at the hospital’s Cardio-Neuro Centre.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla were among the leaders who had visited the senior BJP leader at AIIMS last week.
In May this year, Jaitley was admitted to AIIMS for treatment. Earlier, citing health reasons, the BJP leader did not contest the Lok Sabha elections. After the Modi government returned to power, he wrote to the Prime Minister that he would like to stay away from “any responsibility” on account of his ill health.
“It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Shri Arun Jaitley, Hon’ble Member of Parliament & Former Finance Minister, Government of India at 12:07 pm on 24th August, 2019,” reads a statement issued by AIIMS.
Jaitley, a lawyer by profession, 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 troubleshooter of the government.
Before taking on the finance ministerial post in 2014, Jaitley was also the vice president of the BCCI from the north zone.