New Delhi: Former Defence Minister and veteran socialist leader George Fernandes passed away here on Tuesday.He was 88.He had been suffering from swine flu for the last few days.
A veteran Parliamentarian who was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1967, Mr Fernandes served several times as a Union Cabinet Minister, holding portfolios such as communications, industry, and railways, besides defence.He had represented Muzaffarpur and Nalanda from Bihar in Lok Sabha.
In a Tweet, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy expressed grief and said, "Very sad to hear about George Fernandes' demise. He was a very good friend in his later years. Earlier we had ideological. differences due to his being socialist and I for market based economy but we were united in opposing TDK and residual Nehru family.He was the icon during the emergency, imposed by Indira Gandhi.
PM Modi condoles death of George Fernandes
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday condoled the demise of former Defence Minister George Fernandes.
"Saddened by his passing away.......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," Mr Modi wrote.
In the micro blogging site Twitter, Prime Minister further wrote: "My thoughts are with his family, friends and lakhs of people grieving. May his soul rest in peace. When we think of Mr George Fernandes, we remember most notably the fiery trade union leader who fought for justice, the leader who could humble the mightiest of politicians at the hustings, a visionary Railway Minister and a great Defence Minister who made India safe and strong".
Mr Modi said, "George Sahab represented the best of India's political leadership.
Frank and fearless, forthright and farsighted, he made a valuable contribution to our country.
He was among the most effective voices for the rights of the poor and marginalised".
Rahul condoles demise of George Fernandes
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday condoled the death of former Union Minister George Fernandes.
In a post on social media, Mr Gandhi said, ''I'm sorry to hear about the passing away of former Parliamentarian & Union Minister, George Fernandes Ji. My condolences to his family and friends in this time of grief.''
Fernandes, who served as Defence Minister, breathed his last at the age of 88 on Tuesday morning following a prolonged illness.(UNI)