Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was on an official three-nation tour when former finance minister Arun Jaitley died, on Tuesday joined prominent leaders of the NDA to pay tribute to his close and much-younger friend. PM Modi spoke extensively about the impact that Arun Jaitley had made on different people due to his many abilities.“For a bit, imagine my state. What would my state be… because I lost such a dear friend, one who was much younger than me,” PM Modi said his inability to be with Jaitley to catch a last glimpse will be “a burden in my heart that I would always have to carry”.Arun Jaitley, 66, died on August 24 after nearly a fortnight at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. He had been admitted to the hospital on 9 August after complaining of uneasiness. PM Modi had to miss his funeral the next day on account of his official tour.PM Modi said he would also miss Arun Jaitley at cabinet meetings where the prime minister said, Jaitley’s vast knowledge about parliamentary and governance precedents, would help the cabinet arrive at the right decisions.Apart from Jaitley’s family and top government functionaries, several opposition leaders were also present at the prayer meeting organised by the BJP. JP Nadda, the BJP’s working president, said the presence of senior leaders from other political parties at the event was evidence of Arun Jaitley’s ability of working together with everyone.Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi recollected his time with Jaitley during parliamentary debates and court arguments where both found each other sitting in the opposite sides.“We have lost a good man in public life, a decent human being, an able and respected professional, a witty thinker, a lifelong student of politics, a remarkable communicator, a committed pillar of his party and a friend to many many people,” he said, according to news agency ANI.Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar reminisced about his interactions with Jaitley when he was the BCCI president and the BJP leader was with the Delhi and District Cricket Association.On an emotional note, Pawar said, “ Despite different political ideologies we always shared a great personal relationship. But today I am unhappy with him, because he had no right to go before us.”Communist Party of India General Secretary D Raja also praised the veteran leader, calling him an eminent lawyer, eloquent orator and a prolific writer.(With inputs from ANI)First Published:
Sep 10, 2019 19:53 IST