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.
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.
#Visuals from outside #GeorgeFernandes's residence in Delhi. He passed away today morning at the age of 88; Social activist & former Samata Party president Jaya Jaitly present at the residence. pic.twitter.com/CF4gMzTDuS— ANI (@ANI) January 29, 2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the demise, saying he was frank and fearless, and never deviated from his ideology.
"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.
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.