Calling Arun Jaitley "chief troubleshooter for BJP", Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Gujral on Wednesday said that the former finance minister always goes out of his way even to help opposition leaders.
"I have worked very closely with him over the years, he has been an old friend of mine and one thing that stands out about Arun Jaitley is his ability to reach out to people, his humility, his transparency, I have seen how he goes out of his way even to help people who are in the opposition. I have seen many opposition leaders come to him with personal problems but he would never look at their party affiliations. If he thought that some wrong had been done, he would immediately help the person. He was the chief troubleshooter for BJP primarily because all other political leaders trust him, that is his basic USP," said Gujral in an interview with CNBC-TV18.
He added, "Coming to his achievements, please look back at 5 years, what kind of economy did he inherit, it was completely derailed, he brought it back. Look at the inflation numbers, look at the fiscal discipline, he brought back fiscal discipline, he put an end to telephone banking so that some discipline could come back into the banking sector. I was in the select committee of GST and I can tell you that the Congress government tried for 8 long years, they did not succeed. The only reason Arun Jaitley succeeded was because he was willing to listen, he was never obstinate, he was flexible, he would reach out to people and even accommodate a contrary point of view and that is the reason we have seen GST being implemented."
Earlier in the day, the former finance minister wrote to the Prime Minister requesting him to not include him in the National Democratic Alliance government, citing health issues.
Asking the Prime Minister to recuse him from any ministerial responsibility "for the present", Jaitley wrote, "I am writing to you to formally request you that I should be allowed a reasonable time for myself, my treatment and my health and, therefore, not be a part of any responsibility, for the present, in the new Government."