Ailing former defence minister George Fernandes’ wife Leila Kabir Fernandes has rejected as “highly premature” his brothers’ suggestion that the veteran socialist leader’s assets be distributed to the poor through a charitable foundation.
In a statement from Haridwar, she also turned down their plea to allow them to meet him. “As soon as he is comfortably settled, we fully expect those near and dear to George to have access to him — particularly his brothers,” she said.
Leila Kabir and their only child Sean, who lives in the US, are locked in a bitter battle over 79-year-old George’s assets with his long-time political associate Jaya Jaitley and his three brothers Michael, Aloysius and Richard. His fourth brother Paul is in Canada.
“Sean and I intend to see that these assets are first and foremost used for George’s care. Although George suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, he does not suffer from any other significant physical ailment and could live for several years,” she said.
“Our sole concern is to see that George’s final years are spent in comfort and dignity. With the means that he has available to him and with the assets that Sean and I have, I am confident that we can ensure that.