The loneliness of Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is generally regarded as a man about town as far as Lutyens’ Delhi is concerned. He is even seen as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s local guide in the national Capital. For everybody worth knowing in the city know him—and take pride in it. Or so we believed.

At a recent private function in a luxury hotel, he appeared lonely. He came to the party and stayed there for almost two hours, but it was without the conviviality associated with him. The 100-odd gathering comprised the who’s who of Delhi but, apart from the host and a very small clutch of close friends, nobody bothered to walk to his table to exchange pleasantries. The gauche manner in which the demonetization has been handled and the crude threats made against the rich are said to have angered Delhi’s elites.