Senior BJP leader and former finance minister Arun Jaitley, who was admitted in the ICU at Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences since August 9, passed away on Saturday.
"It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of former finance minister Arun Jaitley, Member of Parliament (MP) at 12:07 p.m. on Saturday. Jaitley was admitted in AIIMS, New Delhi on August 9 and was treated by a multi-disciplinary team of senior doctors," said Aarti Vij, chairperson, Media and Protocol, AIIMS.
Jaitley, a lawyer by profession, had been an important part in 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’s urbane and articulate manner helped him win friends across party lines and industry, leading to the enactment of a bankruptcy code and a national goods and services tax law that had languished for almost 20 years.
But he had a mixed record in economic management. Though inflation hit a record low during his tenure, growth sagged from 8 percent to 5.8 percent during the first three months of 2019.
Jaitley did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election presumably because of his ill-health.
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.
Jaitley, who had stopped attending office since early April last year, was back in the finance ministry on August 23, 2018.
In September 2014, he had undergone bariatric surgery to correct the weight he had gained because of a long-standing diabetic condition.
(Inputs from agencies)
First Published: IST