New Delhi: Former finance minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley, passed away on Saturday at AIIMS, New Delhi, after a prolonged ailment.
He is survived by his wife Sangeeta, son Rohan and daughter Sonali Jaitley.
Jaitley was born on December 28, 1952, in New Delhi and educated at St. Xavier’s School (1960-69). He graduated in commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce in 1973 and completed his law degree from the University of Delhi in 1977.
While at the university, Jaitley became an active member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student outfit of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). In 1974, he was elected the president of the Delhi University’s Student Union. During Emergency, he spent more than 19 months in Delhi.
Jaitley became the additional solicitor general under the VP Singh government in 1989 and had been a member of the Rajya Sabha since 2000. Having held several ministerial posts since 1999 whenever the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was in power, he was appointed finance and defence minister when Narendra Modi came to power in 2014.
He was also in charge of the minister of information and broadcasting between 2014 and 2016. It was during his tenure at the finance ministry that the government demonetised notes of Rs 500/1,000 and introduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Days after Modi came back to power with a thumping majority in May, Jaitley wrote to him stating that he be kept away from any active role in the formation of the new government citing his health as a reason for the same.
However, he continued to strongly speak out in support of the government’s several measures, including the Rafale deal, decriminalisation of triple talaq and abrogation of Article 370 from Kashmir, in his blogs.