Industry leaders pay rich tributes to the ‘man of many reforms’

I am a vegetarian, he was not. But his dubba from home always had vegetarian food, Rahul Bajaj recalled.Emmanual YoginiEmmanual Yogini  

Industry leaders paid rich tributes to former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who passed away on Saturday following an illness.

“For me, it is a very personal loss. I have known Arun ji for the last 25-30 years. Since I lived in Pune all these years, I used to meet him infrequently. However, when I entered the Rajya Sabha in 2006, we further deepened our friendship,” Rahul Bajaj, chairman, Bajaj Auto Ltd., and former Member of Parliament told this correspondent.

“He had become my mentor. He was a very senior Parliamentarian and I was a novice. I learnt a great deal from him. As an anecdote, his lunch box used to come from his home everyday to the Parliament. When both of us were together in Parliament, I used to join him for lunch. I am a vegetarian, but he was not. But his dubba from home always had vegetarian food,” Mr. Bajaj recalled.

“I have a huge number of memories about not only his intellect, general knowledge of all kinds and tremendous common sense, but also about his being a great human being. To a common friend, he had recently said the body could take only so much. Goodbye, my dear friend. I wish his family the courage to bear this irreparable loss,” he added.

Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, SBI, said in a statement, “Mr. Jaitley will be remembered for the many landmark reforms like GST and IBC that he ushered in his era as FM. With his passing away, the country and the financial sector has lost a true friend and a guide.”

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) President Vikram Kirloskar said: “Indian industry is deeply shocked and saddened by the untimely passing of Mr. Arun Jaitley, who is counted among the outstanding leaders in the country’s history.”

“I salute, and pray for the soul of a man who lived by his convictions and committed his life to his country,” Anand Mahindra, chairman, Mahindra Group, said in a post on his Twitter account

“The nation has lost a warm, dedicated, outstanding parliamentarian who will be remembered as a creator of a modern BJP, for his brilliant legal mind, for his impeccable oratory skills, for bravely steering GST and other reforms,” RPG Group chairman Harsh Goenka tweeted.

Uday Kotak, chairman, Kotak Mahindra Bank, in a Twitter post, said, “[I am] very sad [on hearing] about Arun Jaitley. [He] stood for conviction and commitment. Will miss his presence and fragrance.”

Gautam Adani, chairman, Adani Group, in a tweet, called Mr. Jaitley a gifted orator, dynamic parliamentarian, champion of public policy and a man with an invaluable ability to connect with people from different sections of society.

“Mr. Arun Jaitley’s vision and progressive thinking have been a catalyst in shaping New India,” he added.

N. Srinivasan, vice-chairman and managing director, India Cements Ltd., said Mr. Jaitley’s passing away left a void that was difficult to fill.

“He was not only a great lawyer, but also a successful Finance Minister. Through his abiding interest in cricket, he had been a stalwart of the BCCI for over two decades. A personal friend, I shall miss him,” he said.

Naveen Jindal, chairman, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd., said, “India has lost a great leader in his going. He had thought of all of us in his firstline. It doesn’t matter if you are in the Congress or the BJP. I think he was a karmayogi .”

Manoj Gaur, chairman, Jaypee Group, said, “Arun Jaitley was a leader who should always be remembered and respected for his stellar contribution among a galaxy of leaders in the last 45 years... by parliamentarians for his analysis, knowledge... by Indians for his patriotism and value system. May the Almighty bless his soul with peace!”

(With inputs from Piyush Pandey in Mumbai and N. Anand in Chennai)