New Delhi: Former Union Finance Minister and veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley, who passed away on Saturday at AIIMS, was the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha from 2009-2014 and then took the charge of the treasury benches from 2014-2019.
In January this year, when Congress was trying to make Rafale deal as an election issue, Jaitley not only blunted the attack but also charged the grand old party of grave negligence on the part of national security.
“The Congress party, which has in the past been headed by great legends, is today headed by a gentleman (Rahul Gandhi), who doesn’t even have a basic understanding of what a combat aircraft is,” Jaitley had said.
“They did not understand national security, they only understand paisa,” he added.
Jaitley was admitted in AIIMS, New Delhi on August 9 and was treated by a multidisciplinary team of senior doctors.
He was a member of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and president of Student Union of Delhi University in 1974. He was also under preventive detention for 19 months during the emergency.
In Vajpayee government, Jaitley held several cabinet portfolios such as Finance, Defence, Corporate Affairs, Commerce and Industry, and Law and Justice.
In second innings of the Modi government, Jaitley decided not to join the cabinet due to health issues.