15 Aug 2019
BJP minister pays 'homage' to Jaitley, observes 'two-minutes silence'. What?
Vasan Ahir, who is Gujarat's Minister of State for Tourism, committed the blunder at a public function in Kutch.
Along with the attendees, he also observed "two minutes of silence".
Here's what happened.
Event's theme was farmers' training, another BJP leader attended it
The event was organized in Bidad village of Kutch's Mandvi Taluka and Ahir was invited as the chief guest. The theme of the function was farming-oriented training.
The attendees consisted of farmers and dignitaries. Reportedly, Rajendrasinh Jadeja, BJP's General Secretary for Kutch district, also marked his attendance at the event.
Shockingly, none of these saffron party leaders "knew" that Jaitley is very much alive.
Attendees condoled 'death' of Jaitley: Press release
If Ahir's gaffe wasn't enough, the Kutch Information Department put out a press release confirming the "homage".
"At the end of the function, the dignitaries on the dais and farmers observed a two-minute silence to condole the death former union finance minister Arun Jaitley," the release read.
Meanwhile, in damage control mode, Kutch Collector Remya Mohan said she isn't aware of any such release.
Another official tried to brush off responsibility
Separately, In-charge Joint Information Director of Rajkot, Sharad Bumadia, said all press releases aren't put up for his consideration before being issued. "It's the responsibility of deputy director of information in Bhuj to verify the content before releasing," he added.
Meanwhile, Jaitley is in ICU but hemodynamically stable
Jaitley, who was admitted to AIIMS on August 9, is still in ICU but hemodynamically stable, sources said earlier this week.
He was rushed to the premier medical institute after he complained of breathlessness and restlessness. The hospital put Jaitley under the care of a multidisciplinary team of doctors.
Several ministers, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, visited him in the hospital.