Former finance minister Arun Jaitley passed away today (Saturday, 24th August 2019) at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Jaitley was considered to be the ace ‘troubleshooter’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. So much so that he was the only one to be known as the PM’s ‘eyes and ears.’
Jaitley, who was also a lawyer, assumed significant importance in Modi’s cabinet during his first tenure and throughout remained indispensible to the latter. As per a report in India Today, “Jaitley had an unsurpassable network of contacts across the political, legal and social spectrum. PM Modi needed him to smooth the passage of bills in the Rajya Sabha. He was the go-to guy to keep the NDA running smoothly. He was Modi’s eyes and ears.”
Jaitley had also defended Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riots when the latter was the chief minister of Gujarat. Jaitley played a crucial rule in Modi’s rise to the top when voices of dissent (led by the likes LK Advani) grew louder.