The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart and former union minister Arun Jaitley’s wife has written to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, seeking that the pension be used for the ‘most needy’ employees of the Rajya Sabha. Jaitley died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on August 24 after battling multiple health issues for the last several months. He was 66.
Sangeeta Jaitley in a letter to Naidu wrote: “Without, by any means, intending to undermine the noble sentiment associated with the offer of pension entitled to the spouse of a late MP, a cause which Arun himself championed, I would humble request the hon’ble parliament to deploy this pension amount towards the welfare of the most needy segment of the institution, which Arun served for almost two decades; the Class IV employees of the Rajya Sabha.”
Jaitley, a lawyer by profession, had been a key member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet in the BJP government’s first term. He held the finance and defence portfolios, and often acted as the chief troubleshooter of the government.
Sangeeta Jaitley added, “Arun has always been a silent philanthropist whose magnanimity was profound. Whatever success he was able to achieve in his legal profession or politics, he believed, was due to abiding support and good wishes of his mentors, colleagues. Friends, relatives and he always stood up to help and assist anyone in need.”
In his political journey, Arun Jaitley wore different hats. He has been a member of the national executive of Bharatiya Janata Party since 1991. On 13 October 1999, in the Vajpayee Government, he was appointed as the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting (Independent Charge). He was also appointed as Minister of State for Disinvestment (Independent Charge), a new ministry created for the first time to give effect to the policy of disinvestments.
He also took additional charge of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs on 23 July 2000. Later, Jaitley became a Cabinet Minister in November 2000 and simultaneously took charge of the Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs and Shipping. He was chosen as the Leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha on 3 June 2009.