Congress leader Shashi Tharoor remembered his first meeting with veteran BJP leader Arun Jaitley, who died today at the age of 66, as he paid tribute to the former finance minister.
"Deeply saddened by the tragic passing of my friend and Delhi University senior Arun Jaitley," he wrote.
The two leaders first met decades ago when Mr Jaitley was at the Delhi University Student Union and Mr Tharoor was the president of St Stephen's College Union, the Congress leader said. Despite "politicial differences", Mr Tharoor said, the two leaders "enjoyed a healthy mutual respect".
Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley died today at Delhi's AIIMS hospital, two weeks after he was admitted following complaints of breathlessness. He was 66.
The veteran BJP leader, who was brought in to the hospital on August 9, had been put on life support and was being monitored by a multidisciplinary team of doctors.
Deeply saddened by the tragic passing of my friend&DelhiUniv senior @arunjaitley. We first met when he was at DUSU& I was President of StStephen'sCollegeUnion. Despite political differences we enjoyed a healthy mutual respect&debated his Budget often in LS. A great loss4India pic.twitter.com/RzxO1V6NTV— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) August 24, 2019
His death is a "great loss for India," Mr Tharoor said as he tweeted a picture of the two leaders together.
Earlier this month, the Congress MP from Thiruvanthpuram had tweeted that he was relieved to know that the health condition of his "university contemporary and friend" was reported to be stable.
In a tweet, Mr Tharoor also said he looks forward to "crossing political swords" with the former finance minister again.
Mr Jaitley, 66, had taken a long break as Finance Minister last year after a kidney transplant.
His health remained a concern after the surgery. A diabetic, he also had to skip the interim budget in February when he was in hospital in the US for treatment.
After the BJP's massive win in national election, Mr Jaitley had written to PM Modi that he would "not be part of any responsibility, for the present, in the new government" because of his health.