In a tragic incident, Congress veteran & former Union Minister Oscar Fernandes died at 80 today. On his death, condolences poured in where several political leaders broke ranks to express their sorrow. Mr. Fernandes had been receiving treatment in a Mangalore based hospital after he suffered a fall earlier in July and had been hospitalized ever since. He had also undergone a surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain earlier this year.
In a year that seems to be full of doom and gloom, another tragedy struck in the form of a veteran Congress leader passing away. The year has already registered deaths of some incredibly high value people. This includes Times Group chairwoman Indu Jain, former Indian Medical Association President Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, Chipko movement leader Sunderlal Bahuguna, former CBI chief Ranjit Singh, and more.
The Facts of the Matter
On Monday, September 13, the Mangalore Police confirmed that Congress veteran & former Union Minister Oscar Fernandes died at a Mangalore hospital. Mr. Fernandes was 80 at the time of his passing. While the hospital has not issued an official statement, it should be noted that he was hospitalized after suffering a fall while practicing yoga.
Mr. Fernandez Suffered from Multiple Ailments
According to a PTI report, he had also been rushed to the hospital earlier in June to remove a blood clot in his brain. Reportedly, the Congress leader – that had a symbiotic relationship with Rajiv Gandhi which span to Rahul Gandhi, had also complained of chest pain in June. He was also ailing from kidney & heart related issues.
Condolences Pour in on Twitter, PM Modi “Saddened By Demise”
After his death, political leaders across multiple sides broke ranks to express their shock and sorrow. From Prime Minister Modi, to Congress General Secretary, K. C. Venugopal, political leaders mourned the loss of the former Union Minister.
“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,” read a tweet from Prime Minister’s office.
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
President Ram Nath Kovind also expressed his sorrow and tweeted saying, “Sad to learn that veteran parliamentarian Shri Oscar Fernandes is no more. He was a leader rooted to the ground and committed to the welfare of people. He will be deeply missed by all. Condolences to his family, friends and followers.”
My heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Shri Oscar Fernandes Ji.
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
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 13, 2021
Our leader Shri Oscar Fernandes passed away today.
This is a huge loss for the party especially for us in coastal Karnataka it’s end of an era. pic.twitter.com/rP8EgNCY1a
— Lavanya Ballal (@LavanyaBallal) September 13, 2021
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. pic.twitter.com/UXcLI765yP
— Congress (@INCIndia) September 13, 2021
Sad to hear about #OscarFernandes passing away. A very seasoned diligent and a brilliant leader. Have seen him work extremely hard. A fine gentleman.
— Daler Mehndi (@dalermehndi) September 13, 2021
The Life and Times of Oscar Fernandez (1941-2021)
Mr. Fernandez hailed from Udupi, Karnataka and was born and raised in a Catholic family. A well-versed Parliamentarian, he was first elected as an MP in 1980 in the Lok Sabha. He got re-elected to the Parliament lower house in 1984, 1989, 1991 and 1996 from the same Udupi constituency.
In 1996, he climbed to the highest rung of the Congress ladder and became the Congress General Secretary. A trusted aid to the Gandhi family, Fernandez was later part of the Manmohan Singh cabinet.
During the former PM Manmohan Singh’s reign, Mr. Fernandez was appointed as the Transport, Road and Highways Cabinet Minister. He was also responsible for another crucial portfolio – the Labour and Employment. Moreover, he was also responsible for the Statistics and Programme Implementation, Youth and Sports Affairs cabinet.
A former President of the Manipal Institute of Technology, Mr. Fernandez served in the Council of the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.