George Fernandes, the former minister of Defence passed away on Tuesday at his home in New Delhi at the age of 88. Fernandes was not well and confined to bed for a previous couple of years.
India Today says that the previous Union minister was experiencing swine influenza and took his last breath at 7 am.
Between the year of 1998 and 2004, Under the administration of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in NDA government, Fernandes was given the responsibility of defence minister. He was out of general society glare after he was determined to have Alzheimer’s sickness. Between August 2009 to July 2010, his last spell as a Parliamentarian was as a Rajya Sabha MP.
PM Modi condoled on his death over a tweet:
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.
Saddened by his passing away.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 29, 2019
Fernandes, a local of Mangaluru, founded the Samata Party. He was a stoic critic of civil rights activists and Emergency crusader. He also served as a Union minister in the Janata Party government which was headed by Morarji Desai. They ruled over between 1977 to 1980.
His name figured noticeably in ‘Operation West End’, a sting activity by Tehelka. In 2004, George Fernandes stepped down as the defence minister after the scam the “coffingate” broke out.
The supposed coffin scam depends on claims that low-quality of aluminum coffins which were purchased from the US at rates multiple times more than the genuine cost, to transport the groups of killed fighters after the Kargil War. He was later cleared by two commissions of the request.
A few government officials including Rajasthan boss priest Ashok Gehlot and NCP pioneer Nawak Malik mourned the end of Fernandes.
"One should learn from the past, but one should not live in the past. My concern is to look to the future, learn from the past, and deal with the present."
The national has lost a veteran political fighter. May his soul rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/i0frvozoYV
— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) January 29, 2019
Heartfelt condolences on the passing away of former Defence Minister Sh. George Fernandes. My thoughts and prayers are with his family…May his soul rest in peace.
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) January 29, 2019
— Nawab Malik (@nawabmalikncp) January 29, 2019
Amid the 1975 Emergency forced by the Indira Gandhi-drove Congress government, Fernandes was captured for what was named the “Baroda Dynamite Conspiracy” and imprisoned alongside many other political activists. He challenged the 1977 race from prison and won the Muzaffarpur body electorate by a huge margin.