Veteran Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Oscar Fernandes passed away at the age of 80 in Mangaluru on Monday. Fernandes, a former Union minister, was hospitalised after suffering a fall while doing Yoga at his home in July this year. He was admitted in ICU following a surgery to remove a clot in his brain.
Born on March 27, 1941, Oscar Fernandes started his political career as Councillor of Udupi Municipal Council in 1972. The leader is survived by his wife Blossom Fernandes and his two children.
Oscar won the Udupi Lok Sabha constituency for five consecutive terms from 1980 to 1996. After losing the election in 1998, he did not contest the Lok Sabha polls and went on to become a Rajya Sabha member. He served four terms as a Rajya Sabha MP.
Fernandes served as Union Road Transport Minister in the UPA government. Fernandes was considered close to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. He had also served as Parliamentary Secretary to Rajiv Gandhi.
In a condolence message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the demise of the senior Congress leader, PMO said, “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”
Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday condoled the death of veteran Congress leader Oscar Fernandes and said it is a huge loss for each and every party worker and the country.
In her condolence message, Sonia Gandhi described Fernandes as a Congressman to the core, a veteran parliamentarian, a sensitive minister who championed the cause of labour and underprivileged, a dedicated organisation builder at all levels, and an individual firmly anchored in the grassroots. She said Fernandes was “all of this and much more”.
“His humility, affability, simplicity, and integrity will remain an inspiration to all in public life. His demise is a huge loss for each and every Congress worker and indeed for the entire country.
“I salute this remarkable colleague who enriched our lives and made so many contributions,” she said while sending her condolences to his family.
Karnataka MLA Hariprasad B K remembered the veteran leader as he extended his condolences. “Its saddening to hear about demise of our senior leader Shri Oscar Fernandes He combined tradition and modernity,In his 5 decade illustrious public life, He always remained rooted to ground irrespective of various positions he held. My heartfelt condolences to his family & friends,” he wrote.
Rajya Sabha MP KC Venugopal said, “Extremely saddened by the demise of @INCIndia stalwart Shri Oscar Fernandes. An irreplaceable mentor & hardworking organisational leader, Oscar ji contributed immensely towards the betterment of the nation & the party. Heartfelt condolences to his family, friends & followers.”