Rahul pays last respects to Oscar Fernandes, calls him ‘true soldier’ of Congress

After the meeting, Rahul tweeted: “Spent some time with the family of Shri Oscar Fernandes Ji and paid last respects to him – a friend, a guide and a true soldier of the Congress Party”.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi reached Bengaluru on Thursday afternoon and met the family members of late Union Minister Oscar Fernandes. Fernandes (80), who was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Mangaluru, passed away on September 13.

Rahul later attended a ceremony at St Patrick’s Church and the burial at Hosur Cemetery.

After the meeting, Rahul tweeted: “Spent some time with the family of Shri Oscar Fernandes Ji and paid last respects to him – a friend, a guide and a true soldier of the Congress Party”.

Several national and state Congress leaders including Mallikarjun Kharge, Randeep Singh Surjewala, K C Venugopal, Margaret Alva, Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar also paid their homage to the late leader.

In the morning, Karnataka Congress president D K Shivakumar had received the mortal remains of the veteran party leader at the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) office in the city where the public paid their last respects.

Fernandes passed away on Monday at a private hospital in Mangaluru where he was undergoing treatment for a head injury that he had suffered while practising yoga at his residence in July.

Fernandes, a sitting Rajya Sabha MP, was is survived by his wife Blossom Fernandes and two children.

Fernandes was the Union Cabinet Minister for Transport, Road and Highways in the Manmohan Singh-led government. During the same tenure, he was also given the additional charge 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 Sonia Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

Hailing from Udupi district in coastal Karnataka, he was also the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president during the late 1980s and the AICC joint secretary in 1983. A five-time Lok Sabha MP between 1983 and 1997, he was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in April, 1998.

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