Modi lamented that he could not pay his last respects to Jaitley after he passed away on August 24

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the untimely demise of former Union Minister Arun Jaitley has left a huge vacuum in the Cabinet, while calling the departed leader “an encyclopedia of administrative anecdotes”.

Leaders of all political parties paid rich tributes to Jaitley, who passed away last month, at a condolence meeting held in the national capital.“Arun ji lived his life for the country. He had been ailing for a long time. But he would never waste time discussing his health issues. He would always talk about national issues and what next could be done for the country. That he lived for the country each moment was his energy and passion,” said Modi, while stating that he had lost a personal friend.

The PM noted that Jaitley would always add values to any task assigned to him. “Whenever there were any issues discussed in the Cabinet, he was able to recall past anecdotes within seconds. Arun Ji was an encyclopedia, with a strong memory,” said Modi.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh recalled former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee praising Jaitley after he represented India as a commerce minister in the WTO negotiations.

BJP chief Amit Shah, the party’s working president J P Nadda, Sharad Pawar (NCP), Abhishek Manu Singhvi (Congress), Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP) and Dinesh Trivedi (Trinamool Congress) were among other leaders who paid rich tributes to Jaitley. 

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(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

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