Lawyer to FM: All about Arun Jaitley’s family, education and political career

Arun Jaitley passed away today (August 24) at the age of 66 due to prolonged illness. He was hospitalised at Delhi’s AIIMS hospital. Here are some prominent detail about his family, education and political career.


Arun Jaitley was born in 1952 to Maharaj Kishen Jaitley. Jaitley’s father was also a lawyer and the family stayed in Delhi. His mother Ratan Prabha was a social activist. Arun Jaitley also has an elder sister, Madhu Bhargava.

Arun Jaitley was married to Sangeeta Jaitley, daughter of former finance minister of Jammu and Kashmir Giridhar Lal Dogra. Sonali and Rohan are the daughter and son of Arun Jaitley.


Jaitley studied law and became president of the Delhi University Students Union when Indira Gandhi declared Emergency. He spent 19 months in prison for organising a massive protest at the university campus.

After the Emergency, he began practicing law and in 1980 challenged the move by Jagmohan, then Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, to demolish the Indian Express building, which brought him in close contact with Ramnath Goenka, Arun Shourie and Fali Nariman.

Arun Jaitley (3R) with former Prime Minister Morarji Desai (2L) during the inauguration of Delhi University student union in New Delhi.

Political career

This association brought him to the notice of VP Singh, who upon becoming the Prime Minister appointed Jaitley as Additional Solicitor General, one of the youngest ever to hold the post.

When the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) first came to power in 1999, Jaitley was appointed minister by Vajpayee and over the years, handled law, information and broadcasting, disinvestment, shipping, and industry portfolios.

In 2006, Jaitley became the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha and earned the respect of many Congressmen because of his clarity, quick thinking and a phenomenal memory.

When Modi, who once described Jaitley as a "precious diamond", became Prime Minister, he was entrusted with the all-important job of Finance Minister -- overtaking the likes of Arun Shourie and Subramanian Swamy. He was even given additional charge of defence when Manohar Parrikar's health deteriorated.

With his multi-faceted experience and acumen, Jaitley was the man for the Modi government in its first term from 2014 to 2019. Be it showcasing the government's achievements or defending controversial policies or launching a fierce attack on the Congress or framing the 2019 election as a contest between stability and chaos, few could have been more effective.

Jaitley’s stint in the Modi government was affected by his frequent bouts of ill health that even led him to take a short sabbatical. Last year, he took a three-month break to undergo a kidney transplant and this year he was forced to travel to the US for treatment, depriving him of the opportunity to present the sixth and final Budget of the Modi government's first term.

(Inputs from PTI)