NEW DELHI: The last rites of former defence minister George Fernandes, who passed away early Tuesday morning, will be conducted at Lodhi crematorium and his ashes buried as per his wishes, his close associate Jaya Jaitly said.
The former Samta Party president said Fernandes had earlier wished to be cremated but later had stated that he wanted to be buried.
"It will be at Lodhi crematorium. We are following two things which he liked. First he wanted a cremation and then during his last days he was saying burial.
So we are going to cremate the body and bury the ashes which will fulfil both his wishes," Jaitly told reporters.
Fernandes, a lifelong socialist despite his political adventurism that included Cabinet posts in two ideological opposite governments where he ousted Coca-Cola in 1977 and oversaw the Kargil war in 1999, died Tuesday.
He was 88.
Fernandes was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, which had forced him out of the public eye for several years, and had recently contracted swine flu, Jaitly said.
He died at his residence here.
Fernandes, who was born to a Christian family in Mangalore, Karnataka, burst into national limelight when as a firebrand trade unionist in Mumbai he organised a railways strike in 1974 that brought the country to a standstill.
Ironically, he became the railways minister in 1989 under VP Singh's National Front coalition government, comprising mostly Left-leaning parties.