Informally called ‘scholar minister’ in political circles, he could be the ‘Man Friday’ of anyone at the helm. Suave, articulate and a super strategist, Arun Jaitley was the BJP’s and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chief troubleshooter whose superb four-decade-long political career was cut short by health issues.
Jaitley, 66, who opted out of the Modi 2.0 government over health issues, died at AIIMS here on Saturday after being admitted on August 9 following complaints of breathlessness and restlessness.
A consensus builder, he was regarded by some as Modi’s original ‘Chanakya’, his chief troubleshooter since 2002 when the Gujarat riots hung over the then chief minister like a dark cloud.
Not just Modi, he reportedly was also instrumental in bailing out Amit Shah during the time he was externed from Gujarat. Shah was often sighted in those days at Jaitley’s Kailash Colony office and the two would share meals several times a week.