Hundreds of leaders paid their tributes to Arun Jaitley.
Arun Jaitley, former Finance Minister and BJP veteran who died on Saturday, will be cremated today in the afternoon with state honours.
The seasoned BJP leader died at 12:07 pm on Saturday at Delhi’s AIIMS, two weeks after he was admitted following complaints of breathlessness. “It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Shri Arun Jaitley… Shri Arun Jaitley was admitted in AIIMS, New Delhi on 09/08/2019 and was treated by a multidisciplinary team of senior doctors,” said AIIMS in a brief statement.
His body, which was taken to his south Delhi home last evening, is being moved to the BJP headquarters in a decorated vehicle.
The body will be kept at the BJP office between 10:30 am and 1 pm where party workers and leaders will pay tributes.
Between 1 pm and 2:30 pm, the body will be moved to the Nigambodh Ghat on the banks of Yamuna river – where the last rites will take place at 2:30 pm – in a procession on an eight-km route.
President Ram Nath Kovind and hundreds of leaders from across the political spectrum visited his home last evening to pay respects.
Visitors continued to pour in this morning. Senior Congress leader Motilal Vohra, NCP leaders Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel, RLD leader Ajit Singh and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu visited his home today.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in Bahrain on Saturday, turned emotional at an event as he remembered his “friend”, Arun Jaitley. “I can’t imagine that I am so far here while my friend has gone away. Some days ago, we lost our former External Affairs Minister Behen Sushma Ji. Today I have lost my friend Arun,” he said.
He spoke to Mr Jaitley’s family on Saturday to give his condolences. Mr Jaitley’s family told the Prime Minister not to cut short his important engagements abroad, news agency ANI reported.
Mr Jaitley, a lawyer by profession, had been an important part in PM Modi’s cabinet in his first term. He held the finance and defence portfolios, and often acted as the chief troubleshooter of the government. During his tenure as finance minister, he led the enactment of a bankruptcy code and the Goods and Services Tax or GST.
Mr Jaitley’s health issues became worse after he had a kidney transplant in May last year. He did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election presumably because of his ill-health.
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