New Delhi: Former Vice President Venkaiah Naidu recalled his close association with former finance minister Arun Jaitley spanning over four decades, while releasing a book titled “New India: Selected Writings 2014-19”, containing articles penned by Jaitley, as several leaders paid rich tributes to the BJP stalwart on his third death anniversary on Wednesday.
Naidu said that Jaitley was a dear friend, and “go-to-man for many knotty problems”. He recounted that the two met as student activists, were both imprisoned during the dark days of the Emergency in the 1970s, and said that he profoundly felt Jaitley’s absence and sorely missed his sage counsel.
The event was also attended by Jammu & Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, and Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who also released the book along with Naidu.
The leaders shared the dais with Jaitley’s wife, Sangeeta Jaitley.
“Arun was passionate about the health and education sectors in India. He felt that education can help uplift people and health support is required for many people who possibly can’t avail themselves better treatment. We have started the Arun Jaitley Foundation to provide as much help as possible in these two sectors. We also have a plan to start a think tank in the future,” Sangeeta Jaitley later told HT.
Remembering her father, Sonali Jaitley Bakhshi said that her father was her guiding force. About the book, she said: “My father worked on this book with the publication for months. Though the book was published earlier, we couldn’t do the book launch so far due to Covid.”
The book has been published by Juggernaut.
“Today, on the death anniversary of Late Shri Arun Jaitley ji, I got an opportunity to be involved in the release of ‘A NEW INDIA’, a compilation of some of his articles in the form of a book. Got insights into his excellent thinking towards India, his great perspective after reading a few pages of the book. Heartfelt tribute,” Scindia tweeted after the event.
Reminiscing about Jaitley, Manoj Sinha said that his pursuit for reforms ensured that the “dream of making India a developed nation is realised soon”.
“A towering man of ideas & ideals, he was undoubtedly one of the greatest speakers with a sensitive and compassionate heart. From domestic, foreign policy to economic reforms, from a caring human being to a charismatic leader, he left a lasting impression on Indian politics,” Sinha said.
In the foreword of the book, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote that Jaitley had the rare quality of being able to simplify complex issues and brought felicity to public discourse. The PM also hailed Jaitley as a multi-faceted personality — a friend to many, an excellent legal mind, an effective minister, and a consummate communicator.
“There is one side of Mr Jaitley that stands out as extremely important because there have been very few like him. As a public intellectual with an immense grasp on policy issues, he brought a unique quality of felicity to public discourse that is very important for a vibrant democracy,” Modi wrote.
During the day, several leaders paid their tributes. Union home minister Amit Shah described him as “a brilliant orator, skilled politician, and a unique legalist”. “While in power and opposition, he always gave priority to the interest of the country. He played an important role in simplifying the complex economic and legal process of the country. Today, on his death anniversary, I pay my heartfelt tributes to him,” he tweeted.
BJP national president JP Nadda tweeted, “My heartfelt tribute to Arun Jaitley ji on his death anniversary. He was an outstanding politician, a prolific orator and a great human being. A true friend of friends who will always be remembered for his towering legacy, transformative vision and devotion to the nation.”
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