New delhi: Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley died at the age of 66. Arun Jaitley (28 December 1952 – 24 August 2019) is an Indian politician and attorney, who is the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of the Government of India from 2014 to 2019. A member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Jaitley previously held the cabinet portfolios of Finance, Defence, Corporate Affairs, Commerce and Industry and Law and Justice in the Vajpayee government and Narendra Modi government. From 2009 to 2014 he served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. He is a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India. Arun Jaitley decided not to join the Modi Cabinet in 2019 due to health issues.
Arun Jaitley was born on 28 December 1952 at New Delhi and died on 24/08/2019. His father Maharaj Kishen Jaitley was a lawyer and mother Ratan Prabha Jaitley a housewife. He passed his LLB degree from the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, in 1977.
Jaitley was an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) student leader at the Delhi University Campus in the seventies and rose to be the President of the Students Union of Delhi University in 1974. During the period of proclamation of Internal Emergency (1975–77) when fundamental rights were suspended, he was under preventive detention for a period of 19 months. He was a prominent leader of a movement against corruption launched in the year 1973 by Raj Narain and Jayaprakash Narayan. He was the Convenor of the National Committee for Students and Youth organization appointed by Jai Prakash Narayan. He was also active in civil rights movement and helped found PUCL Bulletin along with Satish Jha and Smitu Kothari. After being released from jail he joined the Jan Sangh.
In 1977, being the convener of the Loktantric Yuva Morcha at a time when the Congress suffered defeat, Jaitley was appointed the president of the Delhi ABVP and All India Secretary of the ABVP. He was then made the president of the youth wing of the BJP and the secretary of the Delhi Unit in 1980, a short time after joining the party.
Jaitley has been a member of the national executive of Bharatiya Janata Party since 1991. He became the spokesperson of the BJP during the period preceding the 1999 general election. In 1999, after the Vajpayee Government of the BJP led National Democratic Alliance came to power, he was appointed Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (Independent Charge) on 13 October 1999. He was also appointed Minister of State for Disinvestment (Independent Charge), a new ministry created for the first time to give effect to the policy of disinvestments under the World Trade Organization regime. He took over the additional charge of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs on 23 July 2000 following the resignation of Ram Jethmalani as the Union Cabinet Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs.
He was elevated to a Cabinet Minister in November 2000 and was made simultaneously the Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs and Shipping. He was the first Minister of Shipping following the bifurcation of the Ministry of Surface Transport. He demitted the office of the Minister for Shipping with effect from 1 September 2001 and as Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs on 1 July 2002 to join as a General Secretary of the BJP and its national spokesman. He worked in this capacity till January 2003. He rejoined the Union Cabinet as the Minister of Commerce & Industry and Law & Justice on 29 January 2003. With the defeat of the National Democratic Alliance in May 2004, Jaitley returned to serving the BJP as a general secretary, and back to his legal career.
He was chosen as the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha on 3 June 2009 by L.K. Advani. On 16 June 2009, he resigned from the post of General Secretary of BJP as per his party’s One Man One Post principle. He is also a member of the Central Election Committee of the party. In his capacity as the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, he played a vital role during the talks of the Women Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha and also supported Anna Hazare for the Jan Lokpal Bill. He successfully introduced the eighty-fourth amendment to the Constitution of India in 2002 freezing parliamentary seats until 2026 and the ninety-first amendment to the Constitution of India in 2004 penalising defections. However, being in the party since 1980 he never contested any direct election until 2014. He was the BJP candidate for the Amritsar seat in the Lok Sabha (replacing Navjot Singh Sidhu) for the 2014 general election, but lost to the Indian National Congress candidate Amarinder Singh. He was a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat. He was re-elected to Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh in March 2018.