Arun Jaitley, former finance minister, key troubleshooter of the Narendra Modi government and the liberal face of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was cremated in the national Capital with full state honours on Sunday afternoon. His son Rohan performed the last rites at the Nigambodh Ghat. Several political leaders, and not just of the BJP’s but the Congress and other parties as well, chief ministers, friends, followers, and admirers attended the cremation. Rohan, son of Arun Jaitley, performs the last rites at Nigambodh Ghat on Sunday Jaitley, 66, ailing for the past several months, passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Saturday. He was admitted to AIIMS on August 9, and was on life support for the past couple of weeks. Jaitley had retired from active political life because of his illness, but had continued to share his thoughts on Twitter and his blogs. ALSO READ: The Jaitley era Family members, dignitaries and others attend the funeral Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi could not attend the cremation of his party colleague, close friend, and the principal architect of the government that took oath of office in May 2014 as he is away on an official visit to France, the UAE, and Bahrain.
After completing his three-nation visit, the PM returned to France on Sunday to attend the G7 Summit at the coastal town of Biarritz.In New Delhi, hundreds paid tributes to Jaitley at his south Delhi residence, where his body was kept overnight in a casket wrapped in the national flag. It was taken to the BJP national headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg on Sunday morning for party workers to pay their respects and from there to the cremation ground in a flower-decked gun carriage. Sangeeta Jaitley and Sonali Jaitley Bakhshi, wife and daughter, get emotional at the BJP headquarters ALSO READ: Bahrain's prime minister mourns demises of Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, senior BJP leader L K Advani, BJP President and Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and chief ministers of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Bihar, Uttarakhand, and Delhi Devendra Fadnavis, Vijay Rupani, B S Yediyurappa, Nitish Kumar, Trivendra Singh Rawat and Arvind Kejriwal, respectively, were also there. BJP Working President J P Nadda, Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani, and Anurag Thakur, Congress leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kapil Sibal were among those present at the cremation ground. Posters remembering Jaitley were put up on the thoroughfare leading to the Nigambodh Ghat, on the banks of the Yamuna river. ALSO READ: Arun Jaitley: A personal tribute Senior Congress leader Motilal Vora, Nationalist Congress Party leaders Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel, Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Ajit Singh and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam Party leader N Chandrababu Naidu also paid respects to Jaitley at his Kailash Colony residence in south Delhi. It was during Jaitley’s tenure as the finance minister that the goods and services tax was rolled out, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code implemented, the controversial electoral bonds introduced, and contentious demonetisation decision announced.