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Former Union Minister Oscar Fernandes dies at 80 Oscar Fernandes
Image credit: Priyanka Gandhi Twitter

Former Union Minister Oscar Fernandes dies at 80

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 13 Sep 2021, 09:38 pm

Bengaluru/IBNS: Former Union Minister and Congress leader Oscar Fernandes died at a private hospital in Mangaluru on Monday. He was 80.

Fernandes, a sitting Rajya Sabha MP, was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Mangaluru after he suffered a fall while exercising.

He is survived by his wife Blossom Fernandes and two children.

According to media reports, the last rites of Fernandes will take place in his home district of Udupi on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among those who expressed their condolences. “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 Modi said.

Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi in a message said: "A Congressman to the core, a veteran Parliamentarian, a sensitive Minister who championed the cause of labour & underprivileged and an individual firmly anchored in the grassroots-- Shri Oscar Fernandes was all of this and much more."

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote a letter to his family expressing his condolences.

“With his hard work, pleasant nature and popularity he became one of the tallest leaders of the Congress Party from Karnataka who helped the Congress Party in making many important decisions…My wife Gursharan Kaur joins me to convey our heartfelt condolences to you and other members of your family. May God give all of you the strength to bear this great loss with courage and fortitude,” he wrote in the letter.

In his condolence  message, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi tweeted: "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."

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi condoled the death, tweeting: "Heartfelt condolences to Oscar ji’s family. You are in our hearts and prayers. He was one of the finest, most loyal soldiers of the Congress party, we will all miss him immensely."

Congress legislative party leader in Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah tweeted, “Shocked by the demise of senior @INCIndia leader & former minister #OscarFernandes. My condolences to his family members and may his soul rest in peace.”

K C Venugopal, Congress General Secretary (Organisation), tweeted: “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.”

Fernandes was the Union Cabinet Minister for Transport, Road and Highways in the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government.

During the same tenure, Fernandes was shouldered with the additional responsibility of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

He was also the chairman of the Central Election Authority of the All India Congress Committee (AICC).

A former AICC general secretary, Fernandes was considered to be very close to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, her husband Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.