10 things to know about Arun Jaitley

Arun Maharaj Kishen Jaitley, former Finance Minister and one of the closest allies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, passed away on August 24 at the age of 66.

The 'Budget Father' is known for his oratory skills and his views on politics. He has held multiple posts in the Cabinet of BJP governments in the past. Before becoming the Finance Minister of the country, he was the Minister of Corporate Affairs. He has also held the Defence Ministry and Information and Broadcasting Ministry portfolio.

The Delhi University graduate started his political career in his early life. From 1991 to this day, he has played a major role in Indian politics. Here are some facts about one of India's most laudable strategists:

1) First Satyagrahi against Indira Gandhi government-imposed Emergency - Before starting his political career as a BJP leader, he was an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) student leader in the Delhi University. As a student leader, he had carried out a protest against the then government's move. He was under preventive detention for 19 months for the same. 

2) President of the youth wing of the BJP - Right after the Bhartiya Janata Party was formed, he was made the youth wing president of the party in 1980. It was also the time when the BJP was struggling to come into mainstream politics. He then went on to become the spokesperson of the party.

3) A renowned lawyer - Jaitley passed his LLB degree from the Faculty of Law, DU in 1977. He has practised law in the Supreme Court of India and other high courts in the country. He was appointed Additional Solicitor General by the V.P Singh government in 1989. He also behind the paperwork of investigation into the famous Bofors scandal. He also represented multinational corporations like Pepsi-Co and Coca-cola in court. He stopped practising law in 2009 after he became the leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.

Read More: RIP Arun Jaitley | Former Finance Minister to be cremated in Delhi tomorrow

 

4) Minister of State for Disinvestment - Under the Vajpayee government, he was appointed as the Minister of State for Disinvestment, a ministry created for the first time by the Indian government to give effect to disinvestments under the World Trade Organisation. He was also the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting in 1999. 

5) Introduced the 84th amendment to the Constitution of India - In 2002, he introduced the 84th amendment to the Constitution of India to freeze parliamentary seats until 2026. He also introduced the 91st amendment to the Constitution of India to strengthen the Anti-defection law. 

6) Contested first direct election in 2014 - Despite being an active member of the party since 1980, he had never contested direct elections. In 2014, he contested his first direct election from Amritsar but lost to INC candidate Amarinder Singh.

7) Vice president of BCCI - Arun Jaitley was the Vice president of the BCCI but he and the other vice presidents resigned after the IPL spot-fixing scandal came into light. 

8) Married to the daughter of former Jammu and Kashmir finance minister - Arun Jaitley married Sangeeta, the daughter of former Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister. They have two children, both his children are lawyers. During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Sangeetha supported him, she held nukkad meetings and managed his other political affairs from behind the curtain.

9) ICICI Bank-Videocon fraud case controversy - In 2019, Arun Jaitley had created controversy when he accused the CBI of 'investigative adventurism' in the ICICI Bank - Videocon fraud case. 

10) Diagnosed with soft-tissue sarcoma - In 2019, Jaitley's health conditions started deteriorating, he had been suffering from kidney complications and was later diagnosed with a rare form of soft-tissue sarcoma. He sought treatment in New York for the same.

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