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A Genius With True Wisdom

During the 2004 elections, after the BJP lost, I joined the media cell. It was after 2007 that I started keeping regular touch with Jaitley ji and we would often call each other.

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I came in touch with Jaitley ji after I had become DAV students’ union president during early 1990. That was probably the first time when I got to work under him, and I kept working in ABVP (the student’s wing of BJP) under his guidance. Later, he guided me during my BJP youth wing days. Arun Jaitley always left an indelible impression on everyone who came into contact with him. He was not only a senior leader but also a party worker. 

During the 2004 elections, after the BJP lost, I joined the media cell. It was after 2007 that I started keeping regular touch with Jaitley ji and we would often call each other. 

Millions like me were groomed by Jaitley ji just as a guide would train and groom regional workers. Although all of us were groomed in differerent ways,  everyone benefitted from his guidance. When Jaitley ji became a minister, he had his own style of presenting the party vision in the parliament and in different forums. He also laid great emphasis on research and study of the subject he was dealing with or suggesting others to deal with. He was also an excellent speaker and lawyer. 

I would describe him as the man who rescued the party. During the period from 2004 to 2014, when the party was going through very difficult times -- we lost the 2009 parliamentary elections badly -- he came to the rescue of the party besides being available all the time for party work. At the time, the Manmohan Singh government was at the height of its popularity, having gained credibility among the entire population. Through his sheer reasoning and logical skills as well as true wisdom and genius, Jaitley ji was able to unearth all the scams perpetrated by the ruling regime. He literally destroyed the credibility of the then Manmohan Singh government by exposing one scandal after another, whether it was the Commonwealth  Games, 2G or the coal scam. He is credited with taking the party to where it is today. 

His relationship with the common man was also extraordinary. We never looked at him like a politician but as a senior family member and a guardian. He was excellent at pointing out mistakes and shortcomings so that they could be corrected and overcome. He also used to praise our good work. 

I remember him teaching us that the party always comes first and personal interests later. He used to say that people come and go but the party will always remain and so our loyalty and love towards the party is more important. Also, he used to say, “If the party is there we are there.” No matter how severe a crisis was, he always knew how to resolve it. We used to come under pressure in times of crisis, but after meeting Jaitley ji our attitudes used to change, and we used to tackle head on the issues that earlier left us confounded. He was very open and transparent in his views; they were modern and logical.  

(As told to Prabodh Krishna)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Shrikant Sharma

The author is Power Minister of Uttar Pradesh and former National Media Convenor of BJP

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