Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Oscar Fernandes passed away on Monday afternoon aged 80. He breathed his last at Yenepoya Hospital in Mangaluru.
Fernandes was admitted to the hospital here after he suffered head injury due to a fall when practising Yoga at his home in July this year. He had underwent to remove a clot in his brain.
Senior Congress leaders including former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, state Congress chief D K Shivakumar and BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel MP had visited the 80- year-old Congress veteran after he was hospitalised.
Oscar was the Union Cabinet Minister for Transport, Road and Highways and Labour and Employment, Government of India in UPA government and was considered to be one of the closest confidantes of the Gandhi family including Rahul Gandhi.
He was also the Chairman of Central Election Authority of the All India Congress Committee. He was previously the AICC General Secretary, the Minister of State (Independent charge) of the Ministry of Labour and Employment in Dr. Manmohan Singh’s first UPA government in India.
He served as Parliamentary Secretary to Rajiv Gandhi. He was elected to the 7th Lok Sabha in 1980 from Udupi constituency in Karnataka. He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 1984, 1989, 1991 and 1996 from the same constituency. Later, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1998. He was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2004. He was a Union Minister from 2004 to 2009, holding a number of portfolios such as Statistics and Programme Implementation, NRI Affairs, Youth and Sports Affairs and Labour and Employment. He served two terms as a member of the Council of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
He is survived by his wife, son and a daughter.