A valued friend whose insights and nuanced understanding of matters had very few parallels, was how Prime Minister Narendra Modi described former Union Minister Arun Jaitley who passed away on Saturday morning.
Modi may have had reasons galore to shower praises on his Finance Minister during his first term in office. But the condolence messages from different quarters, cutting across party hues, that flowed on only point to the mark that Jaitley left as a brilliant lawyer, an astute politician, a finance expert, a stunning orator, a trouble shooter, an able cricket administrator, the list goes long.
"He was a leader with deep intellect and knowledge, and a voice of reason," was what former President Pranab Mukherjee tweeted.
Congress leader and former Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal had this to say: "A consensus builder, story-teller and man who never took extreme positions…. An old friend and a dear colleague will be remembered for his seminal contributions to the polity and as FM of India . As Leader of Opposition he was without match."
A host of cricket players, Shewag, Yuvraj, Ashwin And Mithali Raj among them expressed their grief through tweets. Former opener Gautam Gambhir tweeted, "A father teaches u to speak, but a father figure teaches u to talk. A father teaches u to walk but a father figure teaches u to march on. A father gives u a name but a father figure gives u an identity. A part of me is gone with my Father Figure." Former BCCI president N Srinivasan described Jaitley as "a stalwart of BCCI for over two decades".
Tributes to the 'man of reforms' from India Inc. poured in. Bajaj Auto chairman and former MP Rahul Bajaj said: "He had become my mentor."
"Stood for conviction and commitment. Will miss his presence and fragrance," tweeted Uday Kotak.
"Will be remembered as a creator of a modern BJP, for his brilliant legal mind, for his impeccable oratory skills, for bravely steering GST and other reforms,” said RPG Enterprises chairman Harsh Goenka.
Raymond CMD Gautam Singhania said: "What a visionary, scholar and orator!"
"He dreamt of a New India where we all could achieve our dreams; everybody loved him and respect him," was how former Infosys director Mohandas Pai said.