New Delhi: National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has a lost a “big brother” with the demise of former finance minister Arun Jaitley, said Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday.
“Arun Jaitleyji’s demise is like the loss of a big brother to the NDA. He had a very warm relation with the Shiv Sena and was a strong supporter of our alliance,” Raut told reporters here. Raut added that Jaitley had played a key role in bringing the Shiv Sena and BJP back together after a fallout between the two in 2015.
“Back in 2015, when he was admitted in AIIMS and our alliance was broken, he was very unhappy with it. Even while he was in the hospital, he used to express dissatisfaction with the situation to every BJP leader who visited him then,” he said. Raut went on to narrate an incident which revealed Jaitley’s commitment after he had given his word. “We had once requested him to come for a book launch on the life of late Bala Saheb Thackeray, he not only agreed to our request but also came despite heavy rains and waterlogging in Mumbai, he was a man of his words,” Raut added.
Jaitley passed away in New Delhi at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He was 66. A four-time member of Rajya Sabha, he became a Cabinet minister in the government of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2000. He was Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha from June 2009 to 2014. Jaitley was Finance and Corporate Affairs minister in the first term of Modi government and also held portfolios of Defence and Information and Broadcasting.