- PM was addressing a gathering of 15,000 members of Indian community
- Earlier, he spoke with Mr Jaitley's family and gave his condolences
- Arun Jaitley died on Saturday; he was 66
Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned emotional at an event in Bahrain as he remembered his "friend" Arun Jaitley, who died on Saturday at Delhi's AIIMS hospital. Addressing a congregation of 15,000 members of the Indian community in the country, he expressed his anguish at the former Union minister's death, reminiscing about his long association with Mr Jaitley.
"I am a man bound by duty. At a time when there is an environment of enthusiasm in Bahrain, at a time when our country is celebrating Janmashtami, I am here with deep sorrow in my heart. The friend with whom I walked together in public life, embarked on the political journey together, with whom I remained connected all the time, with whom I faced struggles, dreamt and fulfilled those dream, that friend Arun Jaitley, country's former defence and finance minister, passed away today," PM Modi said.
"I can't imagine that I am so far here while my friend has gone away. Some days ago, we lost our former External Affairs Minister Behen Sushma Ji. Today I have lost my friend Arun," he added.
#WATCH PM Modi while addressing the Indian community in Bahrain, reacts on the demise of #ArunJaitley: I can't imagine that I am so far here while my friend has gone away. Some days ago, we lost our former External Affairs Minister Behen Sushma Ji. Today my friend Arun went away pic.twitter.com/NcMZ5dU069— ANI (@ANI) August 24, 2019
The Prime Minister is on the third leg of his three-nation tour to France, the UAE and Bahrain.
PM Modi arrived in Bahrain after wrapping up his visit to the UAE, where he held talks with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
PM Modi spoke with Mr Jaitley's family and gave his condolences. Mr Jaitley's family reportedly told the Prime Minister not to cut short his important engagements abroad, news agency ANI reported.
Arun Jaitley, former Finance Minister and the chief troubleshooter of the BJP, was admitted to the hospital following complaints of breathlessness. He was 66. Leaders from across party lines visited his home to pay tribute to the leader. He will be cremated on Sunday.
With inputs from agencies