India: In the midst of showers, hundreds bid farewell to Jaitley | India News

NEW DELHI: Towards 15h10, the sky above the cremation place in Nigambodh Ghat opened slowly and then in torrential rain as hundreds of people in mourning watched the flames rise from the stake carrying the mortal remains of the former minister of Finance and pillar of the BJP Arun Jaitley died on Saturday.
Dark clouds and rain seemed a fitting farewell to a beloved leader who touched the lives of thousands in his various roles as a lawyer, influential minister, experienced sports administrator, and political communicator. Rohan's son lit the stake like an endless row of notables and the BJP workers paid their last respects.
The bill sweeping the cremation places on the banks of a monsoon-inflated Yamuna fanned the flames that consumed Jaitley's mortal remains when a Delhi police guard fired a ceremonial farewell. A little earlier, the chief's body arrived draped with the national flag from the BJP headquarters at DDU Marg.
A large crowd of mourners, made up of dozens of family members, political colleagues and friends, said goodbye to Jaitley. His longtime associates, such as Rajat Sharma, chairman of India TV, and Mukul Rohatgi, former judicial officers, and Maninder Singh, were next to the stake. Rohan's son and others, including BJP leaders Ravi Shankar Prasad and Anurag Thakur, brought the beer to the stake. Jaitley's staff members, who have worked with him for years, were also present.
The narrow passage leading to the bonfire and the covered seats was insufficient to accommodate people coming Sunday afternoon. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha President, Om Birla, BJP Veteran LK Advani, Party President and Minister of the Interior, Amit Shah, Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh the president of the BJP, a member of the BJP, were also present. Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Dharmendra Pradhan, Smriti Irani, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Anurag Thakur, BJP deputies Vijay Goel and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Jyotiraditya Scindia and the leader of the Indonesian People's Party, Kapil Sibal, and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Main Ministers of Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Bihar and Uttarakhand - Arvind Kejriwal, Devendra Fadnavis, Vijay Rupani, B.Siediyurappa, from Nitish Kumar and Trivendra Singh Rawat - dead
Rohington Nariman and Sanjay Kishen Kaul, judges of the Supreme Court, were among those who paid tribute to them. The fire girl Namal Bhattacharya and her husband Ranjan, Atal Bihari Vajpayee were also present. Among the many lawyers who witnessed the cremation were former Jaitley associates such as Raian Karanjawala. A large number of television and print journalists had known Jaitley over the years.
After about 40 minutes of rain, the rain subsided and the crowd began to leave, offering condolences to Jaitley's wife, Sangeeta, and his daughter Sonali. There was a long jam outside the cremation grounds when the mourners were leaving.
Speaking in Bahrain Saturday evening, the PM Narendra Modi paid homage to Jaitley, saying that he had lost a dear friend and colleague and recalled that they had mapped their political journey together, sharing ideas and visions. and overcome challenges. He added that his responsibilities prevented him from going to India, even though he had lost a person he had known since his stay in Delhi as a political worker.
Jaitley's body was transported to the BJP headquarters located at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg from his Kailash Colony residence to 11 hours. BJP workers have queued outside the BJP headquarters since morning. A steady stream of mourners - from supporters to ordinary people, including schoolchildren - paid their last respects to the leader.

This article appeared first (in English) on THE TIMES OF INDIA