In homage to his ‘friend’ and late former finance minister Arun Jaitley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday said there will always be a burden on his heart for not being able to attend his funeral and pay last respects.
“I never thought a day will come when I’ll have to pay tribute to my friend. We were friends for so long but I couldn’t pay my last respects to him, there will always be a burden on my heart because of it,” Modi said at a prayer meeting for the union minister in New Delhi.
The prime minister was in UAE at the time of Jaitley’s death on August 24. Praising the former union minister, Modi said Jaitley showed interest in new innovations. “Arun ji touched many lives. He added value to the work he did,” Modi said.
Modi also said Jaitley was known for his one-liners and was “very friendly to the media”.
“Jaitley Ji had health ailments but if one spoke to him, he was more concerned about the nation. Serving the nation energised him,” the PM said.
He praised Jaitley as a lawyer and said, “If a client spoke to Jaitley Ji in private, the client would be disappointed. Because he or she would feel Jaitley Ji was not bothered about the case. But, in court Jaitley Ji was so brilliant, he would know all the facts of the case and ensure that the case is won.”
Starting the prayer meeting, BJP Working president JP Nadda said, “Presence of opposition leaders here is evidence of his ability of working together with everyone. During his student life, when others were focusing on their careers, he spent 19 months in jail during emergency.”
The prayer meeting was attended by Jaitley’s wife Sangeeta and daughter Sonali.