My Friend Arun Is Gone: Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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New Delhi: Suave, articulate and a super strategist, Arun Jaitley was the BJP's and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's chief trouble-shooter whose superb four-decade-long political career was cut short by poor health.

As the world mourned Jaitley's death, leaders across party lines remembered how he was a mentor and guide to many. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his condolence message, described Jaitley as a "valued friend" whose insights and nuanced understanding of matters had "very few parallels." Official sources said the Prime Minister spoke to his wife and son who insisted that he does not cancel his foreign tour.

In his tweets, Modi said: "With the demise of Arun Jaitley Ji, I have lost a valued friend, whom I have had the honour of knowing for decades. His insight on issues and nuanced understanding of matters had very few parallels.

He lived well, leaving us all with innumerable happy memories. We will miss him!" In a statement, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi said: "Jaitley had a long innings as a public figure, Parliamentarian and Minister and his contributions to public life will forever be remembered." Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: "Untimely demise of former FM and senior leader Sh Arun Jaitley ji is a huge loss to the nation..." West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also expressed sadness over Jaitley's demise and said he was a politician who was "appreciated across parties".​

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