New Delhi, August 24 (The Hindustan Times): The wife and son of Arun Jaitley on Saturday insisted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not cut short his three-nation tour following the demise of the BJP leader, sources in the government have said.
Arun Jaitley, former finance minister in PM Modi’s first term, died of multiple organ failure at Delhi AIIMS hospital Saturday afternoon. He was 66.
Modi, who is in Abu Dhabi, spoke with Jaitley’s wife Sangeeta and son Rohan to express his condolences.
“Both of them insisted that PM does not cancel his current foreign tour,” a source said.
BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal said that Arun Jaitley will be cremated on Sunday afternoon at the Nigambodh Ghat.
The prime minister is on a visit to France, UAE and Bahrain. He is due to return after attending the G-7 Summit in France on Monday.
Soon after the news of BJP’s leader’s death broke, Prime Minister Modi, mourning the death of former Union finance minister, said he has lost a valued friend.
“With the demise of Arun Jaitley Ji, I have lost a valued friend, whom I have had the honour of knowing for decades. His insight on issues and nuanced understanding of matters had very few parallels. He lived well, leaving us all with innumerable happy memories. We will miss him!
Jaitley wore many hats with great ease and was Modi’s go-to man in the latter’s first term as prime minister. Jaitley thus enjoyed close association with Modi. Both were friends and had come to work closely together in the late 1990s, when Modi was the party’s general secretary based in Delhi. While both Modi and Jaitley had considered Advani their mentor and acknowledged the veteran leader’s role in strengthening BJP, after the 2009 elections, both were clear it was time for a change. Jaitley was among the first leaders to begin working for Modi’s elevation as the party’s Prime Ministerial face.