Former Union finance minister and BJP stalwart Arun Jaitley passed away at Delhi’s AIIMS on Saturday. He was 66. Jaitley was admitted on August 9 after he complained of breathlessness and restlessness. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) had not issued any bulletin on Jaitley's health condition since August 10.
"It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Shri Arun Jaitley, Hon'ble Member of Parliament & Former Finance Minister, Government of India at 12:07 pm on 24th August, 2019," reads a statement issued by AIIMS.
"Shri Arun Jaitley was admitted in AIIMS, New Delhi on 09/08/2019 and was treated by a multidisciplinary team of senior Doctor," it added.
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 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 underwent bariatric surgery to correct the weight he had gained because of a long-standing diabetic condition.
Several leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and Union ministers Smriti Irani and Ram Vilas Paswan, had visited the AIIMS on Sunday to enquire about the health condition of former finance minister Arun Jaitley, who was on life support system.
Several prominent leaders had been visiting the hospital in recent days to know about his wellbeing.
Sources had said a multidisciplinary team of doctors is monitoring him.
Among those who visited the hospital on Sunday were Himachal Pradesh Governor Kalraj Mishra, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Joint General Secretary Dr Krishna Gopal and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh. On Saturday also several politicians visited the hospitals to check on his health.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had said on Friday, "Doctors at AIIMS are doing the best they can."