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Arun Jaitley dies; Mortal remains to be kept at BJP HQ after 10 am, last rites today

    Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley passes away at the age of 66

    New Delhi, Aug 24: Senior BJP leader and former finance minister 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.

    Arun Jaitley

    In a press release, AIIMS declared the demise of the country's tall leader. It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Arun Jaitley, the AIIMS said in a brief statement.

    Jaitley will be cremated on Sunday afternoon at the Nigambodh Ghat, BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal said. The BJP leaders' body was taken to his Kailash Colony residence after formalities were completed at the AIIMS.

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    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.

    Amit Shah spent around three and a half hours at the Kailash Colony residence of former finance minister Arun Jaitley. Shah said Jaitley was a crusader against corruption and credited him for taking the Jan Dhan Yojana to the masses, demonetisation and the successful implementation of the GST.

    "The pain of losing Arun Jaitley is unbearable for the entire country and the BJP workers. Since the 1970s Shri Arun Jaitley has worked in the political field of this country. During the Emergency he was in jail for 19 months as a student leader. As a brilliant advocate in the Supreme Court he dealt with a lot of public issues through law, raised his voice in many corruption cases. He has had a huge contribution. Even as an MP he had been voice of the people and a crusader against corruption," Shah said.

    "Parliament has lost a frank and versatile speaker, the Supreme Court has lost its most brilliant lawyer and the BJP has lost one of its tallest leaders. Personally, for me, whenever I have had a personal issue, he was there beside me, gave me strength. He played this role in the lives of many BJP workers," he said.

    Union ministers Shah, Harsh Vardhan, Jitendra Singh and BJP working president J P Nadda were among those who paid their last respects to Jaitley. A number of Delhi BJP leaders, east Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir and party workers also paid homage to the senior BJP leader.

    On Sunday morning, his body will be taken to the BJP headquarters where leaders across the political spectrum are expected to pay their last respects. From BJP headquarters, it will be taken to the Nigambodh Ghat for the last rites.

    Arun Jaitley

    He is survived by his wife Sangeeta Jaitley and two children, Rohan and Sonali.

    Jaitley, a lawyer by profession, had been a key member of 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.

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    Arun Jaitley did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election, presumably because of his ill-health.

    In May this year, Arun Jaitley was admitted to AIIMS for treatment.

    He had undergone a renal transplant on May 14 last year at AIIMS with Railways Minister Piyush Goyal filling in for him in the finance ministry at that time.

    Arun Jaitley, who had stopped attending office since early April last year, was back in the finance ministry on August 23, 2018.

    In September 2014, he underwent bariatric surgery to correct the weight he had gained because of a long-standing diabetic condition.

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