Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday expressed condolences over the death of former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying it is an irreparable loss for the country.
He cut short his visit to Gudur and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh to fly back to the capital to pay his tributes to Mr Jaitley.
"His death is an irreparable loss for the country and personally to me also. I have no words to express my grief. He was a powerful intellectual, an able administrator and a man of impeccable integrity," Mr Naidu said.
He also talked about his friendship with Mr Jaitley and recalled his discussions on national issues.
"He [Jaitley] was not my political friend but also my personal friend. We use to discuss on various issued pertaining to the country. We were friends since student days. We both were close to each others' families also. I met him on 11th of this month and he assured that he will become normal soon but I never expected that this end will come in a such a short time," the Vice President said.
Mr Naidu said that former finance minister worked under Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi government and dealt with many important portfolios. As a minister, he was excellent and has friends across the parties.
"He made an immense contribution to public discourse on various issues from time to time. He was the communicator for excellence and use to articulate the most complex issues in a simple manner. My heartfelt condolences to his family and may his soul rest in peace," he added.
Mr Jaitley was admitted to the AIIMS earlier this month after he complained of restlessness. The former Finance Minister was placed under observation at the hospital's cardio-neuro-centre. He died at 12:07 pm today.
His body will be cremated at Delhi's Nigam Bodh Ghat on Sunday.
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