The many shades of Arun Jaitley: From a student leader to mentoring gen-next
Jaitley’s party colleagues in Delhi remembered him as an able administrator, who went out of his way to help friends and those close to him.
Published: 25th August 2019 12:06 PM | Last Updated: 25th August 2019 12:06 PM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: With the demise of Arun Jaitley, an illustrious chapter of student politics in the national capital has come to an end. During his political journey spanning more than four decades, the suave lawyer rose through the ranks, initially in Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and later Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and mentored several party leaders in Delhi, who started off their career at university level.
A second-generation influential Punjabi leader, after triumvirate of Madan Lal Khurana, Professor Vijay Kumar Malhotra, and Kedarnath Sahni, Jaitley dominated Delhi’s political scene for long time.His death has created a vacuum, which becomes crucial just before assembly elections in the city, said Sidharth Mishra, an academic and co-author of Delhi Political: 1947-2013, a book on Delhi’s oral political history.
“I don’t think anybody understood the politics of Delhi as well as he did. The revival of BJP in Delhi will be a challenging task in his absence.
He built the next line of young leadership in the city. There is a long list of them, who later became councillors, MLAs, and MPs,” said Mishra.
The former union minister was a student of DU’s Shri Ram College of Commerce when a movement against corruption was launched by Jai Prakash Narayan in 1970s.
Jaitley successfully contested Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) and became president in 1974. “During the emergency, students took out a march led by Jaitley.
He was arrested and sent to the Jail and remained there for 19 months. I participated in Jai Prakash Narayan’s agitation with him.
We started our political journey at the same time. When he was elected as president of college’s student union, I was the general secretary,” said Vijay Goel, Rajya Sabha MP and former Delhi BJP president.
Jaitley’s party colleagues in Delhi remember him as a trouble-shooter, best legal brain, able administrator, who could go out of way to help friends and individuals, close to him. “It was because of him Bofors Scandal became an election issue in DUSU elections. Whenever we had any polls related issue, we always went to him for assistance,” said Ashish Sood, former general secretary of Delhi BJP.