Former Amritsar Mayor Bakshi Ram Arora was the last politician from Punjab to speak with Jaitley over phone. Arora was president of Amritsar unit of Bhartiya Janta Party in 2007 when Jaitley became in-charge of party affairs in Punjab.
Arora recalls from his memories, “Arun Jaitley was appointed in-charge of Punjab affairs in 2007 for four years. I was president of district unit Amritsar. So I developed a good relation with him. At that time we had only one room BJP office in Amritsar. He was surprised to see one-room office of party in city. He asked me why not to expand it. I told him that lack of finance is a problem in expansion. He told me to make the plan. He arranged for the funds and soon we started work on expanding the office. Now we have big office in city and it is only due to the efforts made by Jaitley Sahib. We had started construction in 2008 and it was ready in 2011.”
Arora said, “He had special love for city because he had relatives here and many old memories too. It was also the reason that he gave special attention to BJP office in Amritsar. He was fluent in Punjabi and it also helped him in cherishing party in state. He owned a house in Amritsar after he decided to contest from city. I had selected that house for him.”
He daid, “My relationship with the Jaitley was not only political. I had a personal relationship with him. He talked to me day before he was admitted to hospital this last time. I told him that we all are sad. You please recover as soon as possible. He told be that I will soon recover with blessings of you all and will be active in politics.”
“I was calling him regularly. I was also not keeping good health in recent months. Arun Jaitley called me up and asked me to come to Delhi. He made arrangements for my treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences Delhi. I got treatment there and recovered. He kept check on my health even after I was discharged from AIIMS. I never knew that he would be admitted in same AIIMS to never return back,” said Arora.
He said, “Every time I would visit Delhi, he would call me to meet. He was such a caring person. I have remained in association with many politicians. It is very difficult to find someone like Jaitley who keeps check even on your health.”
“Arun Jaitley had great impact on Punjab politics. He had kept a very close eye on Punjab and no decision about Punjab was taken without taking him in confidence. It was his recommendation to make Shwait Malik Rajya Sabha member. Later he became president of state unit,” said Arora.
Arun Jaitley had lost the 2014 Parliament election from Punjab.
“He contested Amritsar election with lots of energy. There will be no contest like that. He had sensed the result of the election. But even then he fought to win. He maintained his dignity and it was an example for us how a politician should face challenges. Though he lost but this election, in fact, allowed him to rediscover his old relationship with the city and its people,” said Arora.