New Delhi, May 26 IANS | 6 months ago

A known confidant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Arun Jailtley is an acclaimed lawyer and one of the most articulate leaders of the BJP.

A member of the party's top decision making bodies, he was the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha in the last five years of UPA II.

Jaitley, 61, displayed political dexterity to ensure that the Manmohan Singh government did not have an easy time over the various controversies that dogged it.

He was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and held various portfolios including law, justice and company affairs.

An election strategist who has scripted many a victory, Jaitley, however, lost the Lok Sabha polls from Amritsar to former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh. He is into his third term as a Rajya Sabha member.

Born Dec 28, 1952 in New Delhi, Jaitley graduated from Shri Ram College of Commerce in Delhi and later pursued law at Delhi University.

He took interest in politics from his student days and was associated with the ABVP, the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

He was president of the Delhi University Students Union in 1974 and took part in the movement against corruption led by Jayaprakash Narayan.

During the Emergency (1975-77) rule of Indira Gandhi, Jaitley was jailed for its entire duration -- 19 months.

He practised law in the Supreme Court and several high courts from 1977 and was designated a Senior Advocate in 1989. He became the additional solicitor general during the V.P. Singh government.

After the BJP-led government was voted out in 2004, Jaitley returned to serving the party organisation and became a general secretary.

A Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, he was among the party leaders who strongly backed the decision to name Modi head of the campaign committee last year.

Jaitley is among the BJP leaders who are using social media to increase their outreach to people. He is among the party leaders equally at home in English and Hindi.

A former vice president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Jaitley is on its legal committee. He is also a former president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association.

(Posted on 26-05-2014)

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