Former Union Minister Oscar Fernandes passes away
Veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister Oscar Fernandes died at a private hospital in Mangaluru on Monday afternoon, family sources said. He was 80 and is survived by his wife and two children. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish over the death of the veteran Congress leader. "Saddened by the death of Rajya Sabha MP Shri Oscar Fernandes ji," Modi tweeted.
His death is a personal loss for me: Rahul Gandhi
"In this sad hour, my thoughts and prayers are with his family and well-wishers. May his soul rest in peace," the Prime Minister said. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, while offering his condolences to the family, said the death of Fernandes was a personal loss for him. "It is a personal loss for me," he said in a tweet.
Here is Modi's tweet
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: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 13, 2021
Fernandes was hospitalized in July after suffering a fall
"He was a guide and mentor to many of us in the Congress party. He will be missed and fondly remembered for his contributions," Gandhi further said in his tweet. Fernandes was hospitalized in July after suffering a fall at his house while doing his regular exercise. As he was found to have an internal injury, a surgery was carried out by doctors.
Here is Gandhi's tweet
My heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Shri Oscar Fernandes Ji.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 13, 2021
It is a personal loss for me. He was a guide and mentor to many of us in the Congress Party.
He will be missed and fondly remembered for his contributions. pic.twitter.com/NZVD592GSJ
He represented Udupi constituency in the Lok Sabha five times
A close confidante of the Gandhi family, Fernandes had always remained a disciplined party man throughout his political life. In his five-decade-long political career, Fernandes represented the Udupi constituency in the Lok Sabha five times and was elected to the Rajya Sabha four times.
Fernandes was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980
He was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980, followed by wins from the same constituency in 1984, 1989, 1991 and 1996. He has been a Rajya Sabha member for four terms since 1998. He had served as Union Minister for Labour and Employment from 2006-2009 and had held different portfolios, including NRI Affairs, Statistics, and Program Implementation in the UPA-II government.
He undertook several official roles throughout his career
Fernandes was also the Chairman of the central election authority of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) and AICC General Secretary in 1996. He was President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee in the late eighties. He also served as Parliament Secretary to Rajiv Gandhi. Fernandes began his political career by getting elected to Udupi municipality in 1972.