BJP stalwart Arun Jaitley dies: Some lesser-known facts about the former finance minister

With Jaitley as the finance minister, the Modi govt was able to take up several key economic initiatives like demonetisation and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Jaitley was the chief strategy planner of the BJP for the 2014 election
Jaitley was the chief strategy planner of the BJP for the 2014 election

Former Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart Arun Jaitley, passed away at the age of 66 years at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Saturday, where he was under treatment for over a 15 days. Jaitley was admitted to the hospital on August 9 after he complained of breathing problems.

The former union minister was one of the most articulate defenders of the BJP and its governmental policies both within the Parliament and outside it. As a Parliamentarian and minister, the veteran leader had set a high benchmark of probity. There are a few interesting facts about him that a lot us do not know.

- Jaitley was the chief strategy planner of the BJP for the 2014 election and was one of the reasons for its landslide victory.

- In 2014, he had contested direct elections for the first time but lost to Congress Leader Amarinder Singh from the Amritsar seat.

- He was very fond of the game of cricket. He has also served as the Vice President of BCCI before his resignation in 2014.

- In 1999, when the Atal Vihari Vajpayee Led NDA came into power, Jaitley was appointed the Minister of State and held important portfolios like law and justice, information and broadcasting and also the Minister of State for Disinvestment. He was one of the most trusted aides of Vajpayee, who promoted him to a Cabinet rank only after a year.

- Jaitley completed his graduation in Commerce from Shri Ram College and then graduated with Law from Delhi University. 

- In 1980, when the BJP was formed, Jaitley became its Youth Wing President. From 1980 to the early 90s BJP was struggling to become a mainstream political party in India. Under Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani, BJP was trying to make an impact when Jaitley was given the task to transform the youth brigade of BJP into determined politicians.

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