Political leaders mourn Arun Jaitley's death

Last Updated: Sat, Aug 24, 2019 14:58 hrs

Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (File photo)

New Delhi: Health condition of Former finance minister Arun Jaitley, who passed earlier today had worsened in the past two weeks, a top source at AIIMS said.

A senior doctor on the condition of anonymity told the news agency ANI that a team of doctors at AIIMS started to counsel Jaitley's family members last week as chances of Jaitley survival seemed were very bleak.

"On late Thursday night last week, he was put on ECMO. This is a higher version of a ventilator. His lungs were not working. ECMO was used to manage his heart. As he was also diagnosed with soft tissue skin cancer, fungal infection increased extensively. Team of doctors started to counsel the family members as the chance of Jaitley ji's survival were very bleak," said a senior doctor on the condition of anonymity.

Jaitley passed away following prolonged illness at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here on Saturday.

Arun Jaitley had been unwell for some time, the reason why he excused himself from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second cabinet.

He was suffering from rare cancer called soft tissue sarcoma.

In 2018, he took a three-month sabbatical to undergo a kidney transplant, following which he was put under isolation.

Earlier, in 2014, Arun Jaitley underwent bariatric surgery to correct the weight he had gained because of a long-standing diabetic condition.

With the rise of the Modi government, Jaitley became Finance Minister (2014-2019) with the additional charge of the Defence Ministry.

He is survived by his wife Sangeeta Jaitley and two children, Rohan and Sonali.

"It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Arun Jaitley, Hon'ble Member of Parliament and Former Finance Minister, Government of India at 12:07 pm on August 24, 2019," the hospital said in a statement.

On August 9, the 66-year old BJP leader was admitted at AIIMS's Cardio Neuro Centre (CNC) in the ICU ward and was put on artificial life support system after the complaints of breathlessness, weakness and palpitation.

He was being monitored by the multidisciplinary team of doctors including a pulmonologist, a cardiologist and a nephrologist.

The former Union Minister was a diabetic and had undergone a kidney transplant last year in May. He was also diagnosed of a rare soft tissue sarcoma cancer.

Political leaders have expressed their grief on Twitter.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman paid rich tributes to her predecessor Jaitley, describing him as a mentor with matchless astuteness.

"No words can describe the loss of Shri @arunjaitley. A mentor to many of us, a guide and a moral support and strength. Have learnt so much from him. A fine large-hearted person. Always ready to help anyone/everyone. His intelligence, sagacity, astuteness have no match," she said in a tweet.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi said Jaitley's contribution to public life will forever be remembered.

"Jaitley had a long innings as a public figure, parliamentarian and minister and his contributions to public life will forever be remembered," she said.

Congress leader and former Defence Minister A.K. Antony said he had a long standing and good relationship with Jaitley.

"He was a person who used to maintain a very good relation with all, irrespective of political affiliations. He is certainly going to be missed by all those who knew him," said Antony.