Arun Jaitley Cremated At Delhi’s Nigambodh Ghat WArun Jaitleyith State Honours
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu pays his last respects to former finance minister Arun Jaitley at Nigam Bodh Ghat in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

Arun Jaitley Cremated At Delhi’s Nigambodh Ghat WArun Jaitleyith State Honours

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Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was on Sunday cremated at Delhi’s Nigambodh Ghat with full state honours, in the presence of leaders cutting across party lines and scores of admirers and workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Skies opened up as Jaitley’s son Rohan lit the pyre amid chanting of vedic hymns.

Hundreds of mourners had converged at the cremation ground along the banks of the Yamuna river to bid final farewell to the 66-year-old BJP stalwart who passed away at the AIIMS in New Delhi on Saturday.

Senior leaders laid wreaths on the mortal remains and a gun salute was given before the last rites.

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, BJP veteran LK Advani, party president and Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, party’s working president JP Nadda, Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani and Anurag Thakur, BJP MPs, including Vijay Goel and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kapil Sibal, NCP leader Praful Patel were among those present.

A visibly emotional Naidu, who had worked closely with Jaitley in the BJP, stood with folded hands for several minutes near the body.

Chief ministers of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Bihar and Uttarakhand—Devendra Fadnavis, Vijay Rupani, BS Yediyurappa, Nitish Kumar and Trivendra Singh Rawat, respectively—were also present to bid farewell to the former finance minister.

PTI
Congress leader Sonia Gandhi greets Jaitley’s widow. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a foreign visit, had on Saturday paid an emotional tribute to Jaitley, saying he cannot imagine that he was far away from India in Bahrain while his “dear friend” and party colleague passed away in New Delhi.

Wrapped in the national flag, Jaitley’s body was brought at around 11 a.m. to the BJP headquarters located on the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg from his Kailash Colony residence.

BJP workers queued up in large numbers outside the party headquarters since morning to pay their last respects to the leader.

A steady stream of mourners — from partymen to common people, including schoolchildren — filed past the body which was kept there for over two-and-a-half hours.

Party workers remembered Jaitley as a leader who always helped them when they were in need. “I used to go to his house along with a party leader. He was a very decent and friendly person who hardly said no to any request for help by party workers,” said Dildar Hussain, a BJP worker from Jama Masjid area.

A BJP worker from Girideeh in Jharkhan, Raj Kishore, who waited patiently outside the BJP office to pay homage to Jaitley, termed him as a “sober” politician who never hurt anyone with his words or deeds.

“His conduct and his manners were impeccable. I have heard several stories of how he helped ordinary party workers whenever they approached him,” Kishore said.

Similar sentiments were expressed by many party leaders and workers who thronged the BJP headquarters to pay homage to the departed leader. Shah, Nadda, Singh and other leaders followed the flower-adorned carriage of Jaitley from party headquarters to the Nigambodh ghat

Earlier in the day, his body was taken to the BJP headquarters from where it was carried in a flower-decked gun carriage to the cremation ground.

BJP workers and mourners queued up in large numbers outside the party headquarters since morning to pay their last respects to the leader.

Posters remembering Jaitley were put up on the roads leading to the Nigambodh Ghat, on the banks of the Yamuna river.

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