New Delhi: Former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley passed away on Saturday afternoon.
He was undergoing treatment at AIIMS here, where he was admitted on August 9 after he complained of breathlessness and restlessness. Since then he was on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) support, which are used for patients whose lungs and heart are incapable of operating on their own, with a multidisciplinary team of doctors monitoring his condition.
Owing to his health condition, Jaitley had opted out of contesting the Lok Sabha elections this year as well as taking up Ministerial role in the second Narendra Modi Government. Jaitley was an important part of first Narendra Modi Government. He held the Finance and Defence portfolios.
Jaitley, during his stint in the Finance Ministry, was instrumental in implementing the Goods and Service Tax (GST) reform, aimed at streamlining India’s indirect tax structure and perhaps the most important economic reform item on the Narendra Modi Government’s agenda.
In 2018, he had undergone a kidney transplant at the AIIMS. In September 2014, Jaitley had undergone bariatric surgery because of a long-standing diabetic condition.
Born on December 28, 1952, Jaitley completed his schooling from St. Xaviers, Delhi and went on to pursue further education in Sri Ram College of Commerce, before completing his law degree from Delhi University. He was also an eminent lawyer by profession.
During his university years, Jaitley was also a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the BJP. He was also the president of the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) in 1974. He officially joined the the BJP in 1980 and became a member of the national executive of the party in 1991 and party’s spokesperson in 1999.
He became a member of the Rajya Sabha for the first time in 2000 from Gujarat.