Former Union Minister, senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Oscar Fernandes passed away on September 13 at the age of 80.
Fernandes was admitted to a Mangalore hospital in late July with a blood clot in his brain and underwent surgery. He has been ill ever since. He was treated at the hospital and died on Monday. The hospital management issued a statement on Fernandes’ death.
Meanwhile, Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and other Congress leaders took to Twitter to mourn Fernandes’ death.
Fernandes was born on March 27, 1941. His father, Rock Fernandes, was an educator and he was the first president of the Manipal Institute of Technology. His mother, Leonessa Fernandes, is the first woman magistrate in India. He entered politics in 1975-76 as the Udupi Municipal Councilor. He was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980 from the same Udupi. He represented Udupi a total of five times (1980, 1984, 1989, 1991, 1996).
Oscar Fernandes served as Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1984-85. He was a trusted aide of party chief Sonia Gandhi. He served as Union Minister from 2004 to 2009. Oversaw the affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Youth and Sports, Statistics, their Implementation Program, and the Department of Labor and Employment. However, after losing the 1999 Lok Sabha elections, Fernandes was nominated to the Rajya Sabha. He was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2004.