Bengaluru: Veteran Congress leader, former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha member Oscar Fernandes (80) passed away at a private hospital at Mangalore on Monday. Fernandes had an accidental fall while doing his regular exercise and was admitted to Yenepoya Hospital in July, after which he got critically ill.
Fernandes, began his political career as a municipal councillor in Udupi in 1975-76. He was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980 from Udupi and had represented the constituency in a total of five consecutive times, in years 1980, 1984, 1989, 1991 and 1996. After losing the 1999 Lok Sabha polls, Fernandes was nominated to the Rajya Sabha. He served as the Union minister for transport, roads and highways and labour and employment in the UPA government. He was also a close aid of leaders like Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, and also served as the AICC general secretary during the UPA government.
Fernandes’s father Roque Fernandes, was a well-known academician who served as the first president of the Manipal Institute of Technology, and his mother Leonissa Fernandes was the first woman magistrate in India. Married to Blossom Fernandes, he has two children – a son and a daughter.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences over the demise of Fernandes, through his twitter handle. ‘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’- he tweeted.
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