A senior member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Arun Jaitley was Union finance minister in the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s first term in power at the Centre. He also held the defence portfolio for a while.
Jaitley, who had been ailing the past few years and was admitted to New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on August 9, breathed his last on August 24. He was 66.
Adept at working the levers of power, he had been Modi’s go-to man in New Delhi since the late 1990s, before deteriorating health put an end to his four-decade-long political career.
A day before the Modi 2.0 government was sworn in, Jaitley cited health issues and requested the prime minister to let him stay out of the Cabinet.
Arun Jaitley enters student politics, becomes Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) student leader at the Delhi University Campus; rises to become president of the Students Union in 1974.
Is put under preventive detention for 19 months during the emergency. Plays an active role in Jai Prakash Narayan's anti-corruption stir. Joins Jana Sangh after release from jail.
Member of BJP national executive since 1991; made spokesperson of the party before 1991 Lok Sabha polls.
1999: Under Vajpayee govt, Jaitley appointed Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (Independent Charge) on October 13, 1999, and Minister of State for Disinvestment (Independent Charge).
2000: Jaitley is elevated as cabinet minister; appointed Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs and Shipping.
2002-03: Appointed General Secretary of BJP on July 1, 2002, Becomes party's national spokesperson in 2003. Goes back to legal career after BJP's defeat in 2004 polls.
2004-2014: Chosen as Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha in 2009 by L K Advani. Plays vital role during talks on Women Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha, supports Anna Hazare on Jan Lokpal Bill.
Until 2014, Jaitley had never contested any direct elections. That year, he was BJP candidate in Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency but lost to Amarinder Singh of Congress. Jaitley was selected by newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be Minister of Finance, Minister for Corporate Affairs and Minister of Defence in his cabinet.
GST went under several tax-slab revisions and Jaitley manoeuvred them efficiently
He also introduced the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to resolve the issues with companies that were turning insolvent. IBC has played a key role in the corporate sector in recent times.