CHANDIGARH: Former Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley maintained close ties with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab, often terming it a social alliance and not a political one.
Jaitley acted as the bridge between the allies BJP-SAD, even when the alliance hit multiple rough patches, including when Jaitely lost to Amarinder Singh in 2014 Lok Sabha Election from Amritsar.
Sources said that Jaitley, who had a vital role in stitching the BJP’s alliance with SAD in 1996, had a strong relationship with former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
He saved the two-decade-old alliance after the 2014 parliamentary elections despite pressure from within the party, as he viewed the alliance of Sikhs and Hindus as effective. In the 23 years of the alliance, the SAD-BJP government was in power in the state for fifteen years. He remained in-charge of Punjab affairs for four years.
He became DUSU president in 1974
Jaitley was a student of DU’s Shri Ram College of Commerce when a movement against corruption was launched by Jai Prakash Narayan in 1970s. He successfully contested the DUSU elections and became its president in 1974. Many party colleagues in Delhi started their political careers under his stewardship