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Life and times of Arun Jaitley: An impeccable strategist and BJP's 'precious diamond'

Former finance minister and one of tallest leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Arun Jaitley breathed his last on August 24 in Delhi. 

Here's a peek into the life of the BJP veteran leader.

Early years

Born on December 28, 1952, Jaitley went to St Xavier’s School, New Delhi and graduated in Commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi.

He went on to earn a Law degree from the University of Delhi in 1977. Jaitley was an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) student activist in the Delhi University in the seventies and became president of the University Students' Union in 1974.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Jaitley as young lawyer

After obtaining his LL.B. degree, Jaitley practised law before the Supreme Court of India and several High Courts in the country. In January 1990, he was designated as a Senior Advocate by the Delhi High Court and as Additional Solicitor General in 1989.

He was also a delegate on behalf of the Government of India to the United Nations General Assembly Session on June 1998 where the Declaration on Laws Relating to Drugs and Money Laundering was approved.

(Photograph:AFP)

Years of struggle

During the Emergency Jaitley was placed under preventive detention.

In 1977, he was appointed the president of the Delhi ABVP and All India Secretary of the ABVP.

Jaitley went on to head the youth wing of the BJP as its president.

(Photograph:AFP)

BJP's original Chanakya

Jaitley has held many portfolios and charges in his tenure. He was a member of the national executive of Bharatiya Janata Party since 1991. 

He was appointed Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (Independent Charge) in the Vajpayee government and also held the State for Disinvestment (Independent Charge).

Jaitley also took additional charge of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs in the year 2000. 

He took charge of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs and Shipping in the year 2000 and was chosen as the Leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha in 2009.

(Photograph:AFP)

Modi government's star leader

Jaitley was Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first term, Jaitley looked after the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. 

He also served as the Minister of Defence, (2014 & 2017) and as the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India (2014-2016)

(Photograph:AFP)

Will never be forgotten!

Jaitley's loss leaves behind a dent not just in the political fabric of the country but in the minds and hearts of millions of Indians. 

The BJP stalwart was articulate, suave and an impeccable strategist. He was BJP's trouble-shooter for decades and the party's 'precious diamond' as described by PM Modi.

He lives on in the hearts of all Indians and will always be dearly remembered. 

(Photograph:AFP)