Former Defence Minister George Fernandes passes away at 88

He was the founder of the Samata Party and a key member of the Janata Dal (JD). He has held several ministerial portfolios including communications, industry, railways, and defence.

Published: 29th January 2019 09:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th January 2019 12:18 PM   |  A+A-

Former Union Defence Minister George Fernandes talking to the reporters. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

Former defence minister George Fernandes passed away at the age of 88, on Tuesday following a prolonged illness, family sources said.

Fernandes was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and recently, he contracted swine flu, they said.

READ: Want to be reborn as a Vietnamese, George Fernandes once said

The socialist leader was India's defence minister in the NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and he was the industry minister under the Jan Sangh government, which defeated Indira Gandhi in 1977.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the demise, saying he was frank and fearless, and never deviated from his ideology.

ALSO READ | George Fernandes and the Emergency in India: Literature speaks the leader's courage during tough times

"A visionary railway minister and a great defence minister who made India safe and strong. During his long years in public life, George Sahab never deviated from his political ideology. He resisted the Emergency tooth and nail. His simplicity and humility were noteworthy," the PM said.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi expressed his condolences to Fernandes' family and friends.

"I'm sorry to hear about the passing away of former Parliamentarian & Union Minister, George Fernandes Ji," he said in a Facebook post.

ALSO READ: Rebel leaders like George Fernandes are needed all the time: Advani

Pawar condoles demise of 'friend' George Fernandes

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday expressed grief over the demise of his friend George Fernandes and paid rich tributes to him, lauding his fiery oratory and his contributions as Union minister and trade union leader.

Naidu calls Fernandes a 'Fighter'

Describing socialist leader George Fernandes as a "fighter" for the working class, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu Tuesday condoled his death.

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  • Satish R Rao

    A great fearless fighter..RIP May his soul rest in peace...
    1 month ago reply
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