Thu, 19 Sep 2019

New Delhi [India], Aug 25 (ANI): Bidding the last goodbye to "friend" Arun Jaitley left Venkaiah Naidu in tears as the Vice-President broke down while paying floral tributes to the late BJP strongman at Nigambodh Ghat here on Sunday.

Jaitley's body was brought at the Nigambodh Ghat from the BJP headquarters for the last rites.

It was after offering floral tributes that the vice-president could not control his emotions. Gathering himself, Naidu covered his face with a handkerchief as he sobbed while bidding adieu to his party colleague.

Naidu, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh were among the many leaders who paid tributes to the former finance minister before the final rites.

Earlier on Saturday Naidu had expressed condolences over the demise of Jaitley, and termed it a "personal loss".

He cut short his visit to Gudur and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh to fly back to the capital to pay his tributes to 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," Naidu said.

Naidu and Jaitley had shared a long bond which started in their student days. The duo had enjoyed a great rapport while serving in the Cabinet of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, then in the opposition from 2004-2014 and then again in the first Narendra Modi government.

Explaining his friendship with Jaitley, Naidu had said, "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 closed to each others family 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 such a short time."Jaitley passed away in New Delhi on Saturday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He was 66. (ANI)

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