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New Delhi: Senior BJP leader and former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley passed away at 66 on Saturday noon after being hospitalised for over two weeks in Delhi AIIMS.

It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Arun Jaitley, former Finance Minister of Government of India, at 12.07 pm on August 24, the AIIMS said in a brief statement.

The BJP stalwart was cremated at 3:15 pm at Nigambodh Ghat and before that, his body was kept at the BJP headquarters till 1 pm for people to pay their last respects.

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, 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.

TRIBUTES FROM PM, PRESIDENT

In an emotional tribute to his friend and BJP’s favourite troubleshooter, c

With inputs from agencies