Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami as well as senior DMK Member of Parliament T R Baalu, besides Governor Banwarilal Purohit, on Saturday condoled the death of former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and hailed him as a leader whose popularity cut across party lines.
Baalu described Jaitley as a leader who was ready to listen to voices of dissent. Palanisami recalled that it was Jaitley as Finance Minister who removed the glitches in the GST and paved for its rollout. Tamil Nadu Governor Purohit described Jaitley as not only a legal luminary, but also an outstanding parliamentarian who handled not only Finance but also Defence portfolios. He was appreciated across the parties as an outstanding parliamentarian “His governance skill and the contribution to the needy will be missed by the country”.
One man who would miss Jaitley the most will be his predecessor and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram now in judicial CBI custody in the INX Media case.
It was well known in Delhi circles that it was Jaitley who shielded Chidambaram from arrest for over a year. Jaitley felt that arrest of a fellow Supreme Court will send a wrong signal to the legal fraternity and the judiciary.
Jaitley, who presented five Union budgets between 2014 and 2019 used to consult Chidambaram. It was Jaitley who changed the date of presentation of the budget to Feb 1 from end of February . He introduced this change in 2017.
Jaitley, like Swashma Swaraj, opted out of the last elections for health reasons as both underwent kidney transplant. The two have died within months of each other.