Former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley passed away at AIIMS on Saturday.
"It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Shri Arun Jaitley, Hon’ble Member of Parliament & Former Finance Minister, Government of India at 12:07 pm on 24th August 2019.
Shri Arun Jaitley was admitted in AIIMS, New Delhi on 09/08/2019 and was treated by a multidisciplinary team of senior Doctors," said a statement by AIIMS.
Jaitley will be cremated on Sunday afternoon at the Nigambodh Ghat, BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal said.
Jaitley's body will be taken to his Kailash Colony residence after formalities are completed at the AIIMS.
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.
Jaitley, 66, was rushed to All India Institute of Medical Sciences on August 9 after he complained of breathlessness and restlessness.
"Deeply pained by the demise of Arun Jaitley ji. It is like a personal loss for me. I have not only lost a senior party leader but also an important family member who will forever be a guiding light for me," said Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah, who has cut short his Hyderabad visit and returning to Delhi.
"Extremely saddened by the passing of Arun Jaitley after battling a long illness with fortitude and dignity. A brilliant lawyer, a seasoned parliamentarian, and a distinguished Minister, he contributed immensely to nation-building," said President Ram Nath Kovind.
As per reports, PM Narendra Modi spoke to Jaitley’s wife and son and expressed his condolences. Both of them insisted that PM does not cancel his current foreign tour.
"Arun Jaitley Ji was a political giant, towering intellectual & legal luminary. He was an articulate leader who made a lasting contribution to India. His passing away is very saddening. Spoke to his wife Sangeeta Ji as well as son Rohan, & expressed condolences. Om Shanti," Modi said in his first reaction after Jaitley's death.
"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&nuanced understanding of matters had very few parallels. He lived well, leaving us all with innumerable happy memories. We will miss him!," he added.
"BJP & Arun Jaitley Ji had unbreakable bond. As a fiery student leader, he was at forefront of protecting democracy during Emergency. He became a much-liked face of our Party, who could articulate the Party programmes & ideology to a wide spectrum of society," Modi said.
"A stalwart who paid tribute to his simple beginnings by helping those with meagre means. Orator par excellence, legal luminary @arunjaitley ji served the Nation and sangathan with dedication and zeal. My tributes to him. Condolences to loved ones. Om Shanti," tweeted the Women and Child Development and Textiles Minister Smriti Irani.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, "Jaitleyji will always be remembered for pulling the economy out of the gloom and putting it back on the right track. The BJP will miss Arunji's presence. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family."
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu too cut short his Nellore visit who was to leave from and is returning to Delhi.
"His death is an irreparable loss for the country and personally to me also. I have no words to express my grief. He was a powerful intellectual, an able administrator and a man of impeccable integrity," he said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called Jaitley's demise a huge loss for the nation.
"Untimely demise of former FM and senior leader Sh Arun Jaitley ji is a huge loss to the nation. A legal luminary and an experienced political leader known for his governance skills will be missed by the country. Thoughts and prayers with his family in this moment of grief. RIP," he said.
Several leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other top BJP and Congress leaders had continued to visit Jaitley who was kept on life-support.
Jaitley first became a Cabinet minister in the government of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2000. He then also went on to serve as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha from June 2009.
Delhi: Former Union Minister and Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley passes away at AIIMS. pic.twitter.com/pmr4xiyqYV— ANI (@ANI) August 24, 2019
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.
Jaitley did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election, presumably because of his ill-health.
In May this year, 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.
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.
(With ANI Inputs)