Leaders pay last respects to Arun Jaitley
The mortal remains of former finance minister Arun Jaitley were on Sunday morning brought to the BJP headquarters where Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, and senior party leaders and workers paid their last respects.
The body will be taken to the Nigambodh Ghat on the banks of the Yamuna river for performing the last rites around 2.30 pm with full State honours, a senior BJP leader said.
A flower-decked gun carriage will carry the mortal remains from the BJP office to the cremation site.
The 66-year-old Jaitley died at the All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi on Saturday. He was undergoing treatment at the hospital, where he was admitted on August 9.
BJP working president JP Nadda, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Yoga Guru Ramdev paid their last tributes at the party HQ, saying the BJP sought his advice on strategy whenever there was an election in the state.
'He has been a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat. We have won several elections in the state by working on his strategy. We will always feel his absence,' Rupani told reporters.
Jaitley's body, draped in the national flag, was brought to the BJP headquarters on Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg from his Kailash Colony residence.
BJP workers and mourners lined up outside the party's headquarters to pay their last respects to the leader.
Outside the party office, people chanted 'Jab tak suraj chand rahega Jaitley tera naam rahega' (Your name will endure as long as the Sun and the Moon exist)' and 'Jaitley ji amar rahe' (Long live Jaitley).
Manipur governor Najma Heptulla, Union ministers Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal and Anurag Thakur, several other BJP leaders, and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh of the Aam Aadmi Party also paid their last respects to Jaitley.
'He was a great speaker and parliamentarian, and his death is a huge loss to the country and the party. Whenever the party used to face any problem, his advice would be sought,' an emotional Heptulla told reporters.
On Saturday, Jaitley's body was kept at his residence, where President Ram Nath Kovind, BJP chief Amit Shah and several leaders across the political spectrum offered him floral tributes.
Shah on Saturday said Jaitley was a crusader against corruption and credited him for the successful implementation of the GST and demonetisation, and taking the Jan Dhan Yojana to the masses.