PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday announced that a statue of former union minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, who died recently, will be installed in the state.
He also said Jaitley's birthday will be celebrated as a state function every year as a mark of respect to the departed leader.
Kumar made the announcement while speaking at a function organised at S K Memorial hall to pay tributes to the veteran leader, who died in the national capital on August 24.
Union Minister and LJP Chief Ram Vilas Paswan, Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary, Union Ministers of State- Nityanand Rai, Ashwini Kumar Choubey- and a host of Bihar ministers paid floral tributes to the senior BJP leader and renowned lawyer.
Kumar said that "Arun Jailtey jee was a man of amazing talents who successfully and efficienty discharged his duties as a minister both in Atal jee's government and the current government." Recalling his association with Jaitley, the CM said that "I had very close association with Arun Jailey jee since 1998 when I got the opportunity to work in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government...I am deeply hurt with passing away of Arun Jaitley jee." He also recalled contributions of Jaitley during Bihar assembly elections held in February and November 2005 when he (Jaitley) was Bihar BJP in-charge and asserted that his contributions can not be forgotten.
The JD(U) and BJP coalition led by Kumar had then ended the 15 years of RJD rule in Bihar.
The coalition is in power in the state except for a brief period of four years from June 2013 to July 2017, when Kumar had walked out of the NDA.
He joined hands with the BJP again in July 2017 leaving the grand alliance ministry which comprised besides his JD(U), the RJD and the Congress.
Stating that the senior BJP leader cooperated and helped for Bihar's development, Kumar said that though Jaitley was not from Bihar but he had special liking for the state.
Speaking on the occasion, Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said that it was Arun Jaitley who successfully implemented "one nation, one tax, one market", otherwise it would have been quite difficult to implement the same.
The way Sardar Patel unified the country by getting princely states to agree to accede to India, Jaitley unified the country economically by implementing the GST, Modi said.