George Fernandes, Former Defence Minister, Dies At 88: Updates

George Fernandes Death: George Fernandes was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, which had forced him out of the public eye for last many years, and had recently contracted swine flu.

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George Fernandes, Former Defence Minister, Dies At 88: Updates

George Fernandes was one of the most prominent leaders of the socialist movement in the 1970s.

NEW DELHI: 

Veteran socialist George Fernandes, who was the defence minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, died on Tuesday following a prolonged illness, his long time associate Jaya Jaitly said. He was 88. George Fernandes was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, which had forced him out of the public eye for last many years, and had recently contracted swine flu, she said, adding that he died at his home in Delhi. George Fernandes was one of the most prominent leaders of the socialist movement in the 1970s. George Fernandes was a senior Janata Dal leader before he founded the Samata Party. Apart from the defence ministry during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government, Georges Fernandes held several ministerial portfolios including communications, industry and railways. He rose to prominence after his surprise victory in the 1967 parliamentary elections, over a Congress veteran in Mumbai.

Here are the updates:


Jan 29, 2019
19:10 (IST)
Baroda Dynamite Case, An Important Chapter In George Fernandes's Life
The over 40-year-old Baroda Dynamite Case was one of the most important chapters in the life of former Union minister George Fernandes."
Jan 29, 2019
19:06 (IST)
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh writes to George Fernandes's wife: 

"In his death our country has lost a versatile personality who with his unparalleled efficiency excelled as a mass leader and gave paramount importance to the well-being of the downtrodden people of our country. I take this opportunity to convey to you and other members of your family my heartfelt condolences on this bereavement," he wrote. 


Jan 29, 2019
17:21 (IST)
PM Modi pays respects to former Defence Minister George Fernandes


Jan 29, 2019
16:06 (IST)
PM Modi arrives at George Fernandes' home to pay his respects

Jan 29, 2019
15:57 (IST)
Veteran BJP leader LK Advani on George Fernandes

"Fernandes was a fearless, forthright and a forceful leader, who started his career as a trade union activist. He always fought for justice, took up the cause for the poor and was a very effective parliamentarian." 
Jan 29, 2019
15:49 (IST)
NCP chief Sharad Pawar on George Fernandes: 

He gave strength and new direction to the workers' movement. He dedicated himself to concerns of workers and to ensure justice for them. 

Jan 29, 2019
15:34 (IST)
Leaders pay tributes to George Fernanades

Jan 29, 2019
13:26 (IST)
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pays tribute to former defence minister George Fernandes
Jan 29, 2019
12:48 (IST)
Describing socialist leader George Fernandes as a "fighter" for the working class, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday condoled his death. Mr Naidu's office said in a tweet, "Shri Fernandes was a fighter for working class, a trade unionist, an upright politician, an able administrator, a great parliamentarian and above all was a good human being". George Fernandes was a multi-faceted personality, Mr Naidu said.

Jan 29, 2019
12:46 (IST)
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday condoled the death of former defence minister George Fernandes, saying it is a great loss for the country, politically as well as intellectually. "Deeply saddened at passing away of former Union minister and stalwart leader George Fernandes. It is a great loss for the nation, both politically as well as intellectually," Mr Patnaik wrote on Twitter. "Pray for his soul to rest in peace and my condolences for his family and followers," he said.

Jan 29, 2019
12:18 (IST)
Bihar government has announced a two-day state mourning on the death of former Defence Minister George Fernandes.
Jan 29, 2019
12:17 (IST)
News agency ANI further quoted Jaya Jaitly: "He (George Fernandes) had expressed his wished earlier to be cremated but during his last days, he said he wanted to be buried. So, we will cremate the body and bury the ashes, to fulfil both his wishes."
Jan 29, 2019
11:24 (IST)
George Fernandes: A Look Back At The Political Leader And Former Minister In India
George Fernandes rose to political prominence when he led the Bombay Taxi Unions Association and defeated SK Patil, a Congress heavy-weight in the 1967 general election. A fire-brand and hardworking George Fernandes, only 37 then, campaigned tirelessly, covering large swathes of the constituency with his workers getting a 48.5 per cent of the votes. George Fernandes later joined the Janata Dal. He served as Railway Minister in the VP Singh government from 1989 to 1990. He was instrumental in setting up the Konkan Railway project, connecting Mangalore and Bombay. In 1994, George Fernandes formed the Samata Party, which later allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party. He was appointed convenor of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and served as the Defence Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government for two terms, between 1998 and 2004. His term was eventful as it witnessed the Kargil War and the Pokhran test.
Jan 29, 2019
11:18 (IST)
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is the Janata Dal-United chief and has worked closely with George Fernandes for three decades, described his death as the "loss of the tallest socialist leader". "I offer my deepest condolences on passing away of former defence minister George Fernandes. He was a fiery trade union leader who fought for justice. May his soul rest in peace. My thoughts are with his family," Nitish Kumar said.

All official programmes of Nitish Kumar were cancelled for the day.
Jan 29, 2019
11:07 (IST)
George Fernandes was India's defence minister in the NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee when India fought the Kargil war in 1999. It was during his tenure that India conducted nuclear test at Pokhran in 1998. 
Jan 29, 2019
10:48 (IST)
The last rites of George Fernandes will be held tomorrow after the arrival of his son. "Right now, the body is being embalmed," social activist and former Samata Party president Jaya Jaitly told news agency ANI, outside the home of George Fernandes, former defence minister of India, who died today.

Jan 29, 2019
10:46 (IST)
Remembering George Fernandes' contribution during the Emergency, BJP President Amit Shah said, "The most abiding memories of Fernandes ji are those of his fierce opposition to the emergency in 1975. He stood steadfastly to protect India's democratic values."

Jan 29, 2019
10:32 (IST)
Visuals from outside the home of former defence minister George Fernandes
Jan 29, 2019
10:30 (IST)
George Fernandes was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and recently, he contracted swine flu, news agency PTI said quoting sources in his family.
Jan 29, 2019
10:26 (IST)
Congress president Rahul Gandhi expressed his condolences to George Fernandes' family and friends. "I'm sorry to hear about the passing away of former Parliamentarian and Union Minister, George Fernandes Ji," Mr Gandhi said in a Facebook post.
Jan 29, 2019
10:09 (IST)
Calling George Fernandes' tenure as defence minister "outstanding", Union Minister Rajnath Singh said, "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."

Jan 29, 2019
09:56 (IST)
Calling George Fernandes a well wisher of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, former chief minister Omar Abdullah grieved the death of the ex-defence minister. "Rest in peace George Fernandes Sahib. You were a tireless crusader fighting for the voiceless, the marginalised and for those that needed someone in their corner. You called a spade a spade and did so unabashedly. You were always a friend and well wisher of the people of J&K. God speed," Mr Abdullah said on Twitter.

Jan 29, 2019
09:52 (IST)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also praised George Fernandes for his contribution as a tall political leader and as minister in India. "During his long years in public life, George Sahab never deviated from his political ideology. He resisted the Emergency tooth and nail," PM Modi tweeted. "...we remember most notably the fiery trade union leader who fought for justice, the leader who could humble the mightiest of politicians at the hustings, a visionary Railway Minister and a great Defence Minister who made India safe and strong," PM Modi added.

Jan 29, 2019
09:42 (IST)
President Ram Nath Kovind grieved the death of former defence minister George Fernandes. "He epitomised simple living and high thinking. And was a champion of democracy, during the Emergency and beyond. We will all miss him," the President tweeted.

Jan 29, 2019
09:40 (IST)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to the micro-blogging site Twitter today to express his grief over the death of former defence minister of India George Fernandes. "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," PM Modi said.

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