Congress veteran and ex-Union minister Oscar Fernandes passes away at 80
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Oscar Fernandes passed away at a private hospital in Mangaluru on Monday.
Fernandes (80) was a sitting member of the Rajya Sabha. He was hospitalised in July after suffering a fall while doing yoga at his house. He had also undergone a surgery to remove a clot in his brain, a PTI report said.
"We are deeply saddened by the demise of Shri Oscar Fernandes ji, our heartfelt condolences to his family. A Congress stalwart, his vision for an inclusive India had a huge influence on the politics of our times. The Congress family will deeply miss his mentorship & guidance," the party wrote on its official Twitter handle.
Known as a trusted aide of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the five-time Lok Sabha MP from Udupi in Karanatka had handled several tricking situations for the grand old party over the years.
In June, he was rushed to a private hospital in Mangalore after he complained of chest pain. He was also fighting kidney and heart related issues.
Fernandes was the Cabinet minister for transport, road and highways in the Congress-led UPA government. He was also in charge of the ministry of labour and employment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the veteran Congressman's demise. “Saddened by the demise of Rajya Sabha MP Shri Oscar Fernandes Ji. In this sad hour, my thoughts and prayers are with his family and well-wishers. May his soul rest in peace,” the PM wrote on Twitter.
Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said Fernandes was an irreplaceable mentor and hardworking organisational leader.
A diligent backroom man, Fernandes was also a trained Kuchipudi dancer, and had even performed on stage with party colleague Veerappa Moily.