NCP chief Sharad Pawar today expressed condolence over his friend George Fernandes death and paid tributes to him, lauding his fiery oratory and his contributions as Union minister and trade union leader.
In his message, Mr Pawar hailed Mr Fernandes for "strengthening and giving new direction" to the workers'' (labour) movement.
Former defence minister Mr Fernandes, 88, died in New Delhi on Tuesday following a prolonged illness.
Mr Pawar recalled that Mr Fernandes, who hailed from North Karnataka, came to Mumbai in 1949 and "became one of Mumbai's.
"He dedicated himself to voice concerns of workers and to ensure justice for them. He built a strong organisation of BMC (civic body) workers. He also ably led the union of railway workers," Mr Pawar noted.
Describing Mr Fernandes as a "good parliamentarian", Mr Pawar praised him for leaving behind mark as an "effective administrator" while discharging duties as the country's defence and industries minister.
"George was an excellent orator. His command over several languages was praiseworthy. We have lost a leader who created an independent identity of himself and who consistently fought for the commoners and workers," he said. "He was my personal friend. With his demise, I have lost a senior colleague," Mr Pawar added.
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