Arun Jaitley played a key role in the rise of BJP in State
Veteran BJP leader and former Union Minister for Finance Arun Jaitley was a regular visitor to Karnataka during the Assembly elections since 2004. He particularly played a significant role as a strategy planner for the BJP in the 2008 Assembly elections. It was then that the BJP’s “southern sojourn” began with B.S. Yediyurappa becoming the Chief Minister. Mr. Jaitley was put in charge of Karnataka when the State faced simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in 2004.
A teacher to Ministers
Minister S. Suresh Kumar, who also served in the BJP ministry during 2008-13 period, described Mr. Jaitley as “one of the sharpest minds that emerged in the post-emergency era in the BJP”, and had “taught” Ministers of the Yediyurappa Cabinet back then on how to run their ministries, provide good governance, and handle the media.
“Jaitley and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, then Gujarat Chief Minister, took two sessions each during a three-day conclave held for BJP Ministers at the foothills of the Chamundeshwari Hills in Mysore in 2008,” the Minister recalled. Mr. Jaitley played a crucial role in the transition of power from Mr. Yediyurappa to D.V. Sadananda Gowda, to Jagadish Shettar during the BJP regime of 2008-13.
“Jaitley guided us and lead us in all Assembly elections since 2004, particularly in 2008,” Mr. Suresh Kumar said. Many BJP leaders recall that Mr. Jaitley keenly enquired about the problems and issues faced by the State BJP during the elections and resolved them. He chalked out every detail of the three-day BJP national executive meet held in Bengaluru in September 2008.