Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and leaders across political parties paid homage to former union minister George Fernandes, who died today after a long illness today. PM Modi said that the former minister represented the best of India's political leadership.
"George Sahab represented the best of India's political leadership. Frank and fearless, forthright and farsighted, he made a valuable contribution to our country," PM Modi tweeted, adding that he was saddened by Mr Fernandes' death.
The Prime Minister also said that George Fernandes was among the most effective voices for the rights of the poor and marginalised.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi also paid tribute to Mr Fernandes. 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," Mr Gandhi wrote on Facebook.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she was saddened by the former Defence Minister's death. "Very saddened at the passing away of former Defence Minister and much admired trade unionist, George Fernandes Ji. I have known him for decades. My condolences to his family and admirers," she tweeted.
President Ram Nath Kovind, along with several other leaders across the political spectrum, also paid tribute to George Fernandes.
George Sahab represented the best of India's political leadership.- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 29, 2019
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.
I'm sorry to hear about the passing of former Parliamentarian & Union Minister, George Fernandes Ji.- Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 29, 2019
My condolences to his family and friends in this time of grief.
Distressed to learn of the passing of Shri George Fernandes, who served India in many capacities, including as Defence Minister. He epitomised simple living and high thinking. And was a champion of democracy, during the Emergency and beyond. We will all miss him #PresidentKovind- President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) 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
Deeply saddened by the passing away of India's former Defence Minister George Fernandes ji. Today we have lost a stalwart of India's socialist movement. He devoted his entire life for the welfare and uplift of the poor and marginalised. My heartfelt condolences to his family.- Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) January 29, 2019
Saddened by the demise of former Defence Minister George Fernandes. An able administrator, a distinguished politician, his contribution towards strengthening democracy will be etched in the hearts & minds of Indians forever. My heartfelt condolences to his loved ones. Om Shanti- Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) January 29, 2019
Mr Fernandes rose to prominence after his surprise victory in the 1967 parliamentary elections, over a Congress veteran in Mumbai.
During the 1975 Emergency imposed by the Indira Gandhi-led Congress government, Mr Fernandes was arrested for what was dubbed the "Baroda Dynamite Conspiracy" and jailed along with hundreds of other political activists. He contested the 1977 election from jail and won the Muzaffarpur constituency by a landslide.