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 Arun Jaitley cremated with full state honours at Nigambodh Ghat
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Arun Jaitley cremated with full state honours at Nigambodh Ghat

Agency News

New Delhi, Aug 25 : BJP's key strategist and troubleshooter Arun Jaitley was cremated with full state honours at Nigambodh Ghat, here on Sunday.

Hundreds, including Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Women & Child Development Minister Smriti Irani, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, MoS Finance Anurag Thakur, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Yoga guru Ram Dev, were present at the venue, where the last rites were held.

Chief Ministers from several states, including Nitish Kumar, Devendra Fadnavis, Vijay Rupani and Manohar Lal Khattar, among others, were present at the Ghat, to pay their last respect to the departed soul.

The former finance minister passed away on Saturday, after a prolonged illness at the All India Institute for Medical Sciences on August 9, after complaining of breathlessness and weakness.

Initially, he was on advanced life support system and under continuous monitoring of a multidisciplinary team of doctors.

He was also suffering from Diabetes and was recently treated in the US in January for soft tissue cancer.

Later, he stopped responding to treatment and his condition deteriorated on Friday night. He is survived by wife, a son and a daughter.

Earlier, BJP leaders, workers and mourners queued up outside the BJP office, where Jaitley's casket, wrapped in the national flag, was placed.

President Ram Nath Kovind and hundreds of leaders paid tributes to the BJP veteran last evening at his south Delhi home. Visitors continued to pour this morning.

Senior Congress leader Motilal Vohra, NCP leaders Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel, RLD leader Ajit Singh and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu, visited his home this morning.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in Bahrain on Saturday, turned emotional at an event, as he remembered his "friend", Arun Jaitley.

'I can't imagine that I am so far here while my friend has gone away. Some days ago, we lost our former External Affairs Minister Behen Sushma Ji. Today I have lost my friend Arun,' Mr Modi said.

Earlier, he spoke to Jaitley's family, to give his condolences.

Jaitley's family told the Prime Minister not to cut short his important engagements abroad. Mr Modi will be in France on Sunday, to attend the G7 summit.

Jaitley, a lawyer by profession, had been an important part in Mr Modi's Cabinet in his first innings.

He held the Finance and Defence portfolios, and often acted as the chief troubleshooter of the government. During his tenure as Finance minister, he led the enactment of bankruptcy code and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Jaitley's health issues became worse, after he had a kidney transplant in May last year. He did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, because of his ill health.(UNI)