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LK Advani recalls how ‘food lover' Jaitley never failed to recommend good restaurants

By Vishal S

New Delhi, Aug 24: Expressing grief over the demise of Arun Jaitley, Veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani on Saturday said former finance minister was a soft-spoken, erudite and warm hearted person who quickly rose to become one of the most prominent leaders of the party.

Arun Jaitley, passed away on Saturday. He was admitted at Delhi's premier hospital AIIMS. He was 66. Jaitley died at 12:07 pm on Saturday.

Veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani

"I am deeply saddened to condole the passing away of yet another close colleague Arun Jaitley ji. Besides being a big luminary in the legal arena, Arunji was an outstanding parliamentarian and a great administrator. A dedicated party worker for decades, he was someone who was inducted into the BJP core team when I was Party President and he soon rose to become one of the most prominent leaders of the party," Advani said in a statement.

The senior leader also 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."

Several leaders, including BJP president Amit Shah, offered floral tributes to former finance minister at his Kailash Colony residence in south Delhi. Jaitley, 66, passed away at AIIMS and his body was later brought to his residence.

[BJP veteran Arun Jaitley dies; Cremation at Nigambodh Ghat tomorrow]

"He was also someone who valued and nurtured his friendship with people across the political spectrum. As a person, Arunji will be remembered as a soft-spoken, erudite and warm hearted person. A food lover, he never failed to recommend good restaurants to me. Also on every Deepawali, he made it a point to come with his family to our home to wish us. Although Arunji was hospitalised for the last couple of weeks, we were all hoping that he would recover soon," he said.

Terming his demise as a "huge loss" not only to the BJP and the entire Sangh Parivar, but also to the nation, Advani said that it was a "personal loss that has left a huge void" in him.

Condolences poured in from all quarters. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar condoled the death of former finance minister Arun Jaitley, who passed away in Delhi on Saturday.

Jaitley, 66, who died in AIIMS at 12.07 pm was undergoing treatment at the hospital for a few weeks. He was admitted there on August 9. Amarinder, who had defeated Jaitley in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from the Amritsar seat, expressed grief over the death of the former finance minister.

[Brilliant lawyer, astute politician, Modi's go-to man - Arun Jaitley]

"Sad to hear that former Union Minister ArunJaitley ji has passed away. My thoughts are with his family in this time of grief. May his soul rest in peace," Amarinder said in tweet. Haryana Chief Minister Khattar also expressed sorrow over the death of Jaitley. The former finance minister's death has left a void in Indian politics which cannot be filled in a long time, he said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal remembered him as a "distinguished parliamentarian and visionary". "Arun Jaitley ji's passing has left a void for all of us. A distinguished parliamentarian and visionary, Jaitley Ji won people's respect by his unflinching efforts for public welfare & nation building.

May Gurusahib grant peace to the departed soul & strength to the family," Badal tweeted. Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher also expressed her grief. "So tragic. Such a great loss to the nation. Arun Jaitley ji is no more. My condolences to his family. RIP dear Arunji," Kher said in her tweet. "Such a brilliant speaker, a true statesman, a gentleman in politics. I can't imagine Parliament without him. A great loss," she further tweeted.

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