NEW DELHI: Former Union minister and BJP stalwart Arun Jaitley was fondly remembered by politicians as well as ordinary people as the nation bid him adieu on Sunday.
Youngsters aspiring to make it big in politics showed up at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s headquarters on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, from where Jaitley’s body was taken in a flower-laden gun carriage to Nigambodh Ghat for the last rites.
“I aspire to become a politician, and for me Arunji was the ultimate inspiration. He rose from the grassroots, first as a student leader in the ABVP and then as a politician in the BJP... He was very welcoming and supportive, mainly to youngsters. There was so much to learn and get inspiration from in him. He leaves a big void for all of us. It’s like someone’s hand being taken away from giving you blessings,” said Amit Sharma, a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
Jaitley passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Saturday after prolonged illness.
“He has truly looked after Delhi with all his heart since his college days. His contribution to Delhi is immense... not only in terms of expanding it, but also keeping it strong. He supported thousands of BJP workers, and with his guidance many rose to the ministerial level,” said Raghunath, an RSS worker.
Vijay Sharma, a local BJP leader from Shahdara, said that they were yet to get over their grief over the demise of senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj when another loss had befallen them.
“We were still trying to cope with the loss of Sushma ji and now Arun Jaitley ji has left us. Such leaders are few in number. His aura and personality cannot be matched with anybody. It will take us a lot of effort to move on from here,” Sharma said.
Jaitley touched the lives of people not only within his party, but also outside.
“He was a great person and very helpful. We felt so bad that we did not cook food at our place yesterday. I have come all the way from Seelampur, and it is because of his personality, which was so different and loving,” said Khalid Baba, a social activist from Seelampur.
Bar associations to take forward legacy
Bar associations across the national capital are planning to hold seminars to carry forward the legacy of Arun Jaitley and to “make the younger generation learn from his life”.
Heavy rain fails to deter admirers
Unmindful of heavy rains, people stood on their heels, cheek by jowl, at Nigambodh Ghat to have a last glimpse of Arun Jaitley’s body. Many leaders got drenched.