24/08/2019 12:45 PM IST | Updated 24/08/2019 12:56 PM IST

Arun Jaitley, Former Finance Minister And BJP Leader, Dies At 66

A lawyer by profession, Jaitley had been a key part of Modi’s Cabinet during the PM's first tenure.

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Former finance minister Arun Jaitley passed away on Saturday aged 66 years. 

AIIMS, where Jaitley was admitted, announced in a press release on Saturday that Jaitley passed away at 12:07 pm. 

Jaitley, 66, was admitted to AIIMS in Delhi on the morning of August 9 and had been on life support system. Several prominent leaders have been visiting the hospital for the past few days to check on his health. 

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He was hospitalised after complaining of palpitations and restlessness, PTI reported, and had been under observation at the Cardio-Neuro-Centre of the hospital. 

In a health bulletin on August 9, doctors had said he was “haemodynamically stable” and a multidisciplinary team of doctors was supervising his treatment. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ministers Amit Shah and Nirmala Sitharaman had visited AIIMS to meet the veteran BJP leader on the same day.

The hospital had not issued any bulletin on Jaitley’s health condition after Friday, when he was admitted, PTI said.

Jaitley did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he would like to stay away from “any responsibility” on account of his ill health. In May this year, he had been admitted to the AIIMS for treatment.

A lawyer by profession, Jaitley had been a key part of Modi’s Cabinet during his first tenure and had also held key portfolios like commerce, law, and information and broadcasting in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

In Modi’s first government, Jaitley was finance minister but also briefly held the defence, and information and broadcasting portfolios.

He often acted as the chief troubleshooter for the government. 

During his tenure as finance minister, Jaitley oversaw the Modi government’s controversial demonetisation drive and the introduction of the goods and services tax. 

He took a break of nearly four months as finance minister last year after undergoing a renal transplant in May. Piyush Goyal filled in for him till he took back charge on 23 August 2018.

Goyal also took charge earlier this year when Jaitley could not present the interim budget in February as he was in the US for treatment.