Veteran Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Oscar Fernandes passed away at a private hospital in Mangaluru on Monday. He was 80.
Fernandes was hospitalised after suffering a fall while doing Yoga at his home in July this year. He was admitted in ICU following a surgery to remove a clot in his brain.
Fernandes served as Union Road Transport Minister in the UPA government. Fernandes, who was considered close to both Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, also served as Parliamentary Secretary, to Rajiv Gandhi.
Condoling the former Union minister's death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Saddened by the demise of Rajya Sabha MP Shri Oscar Fernandes Ji. In this sad hour, my thoughts and prayers are with his family and well-wishers. May his soul rest in peace."
Expressing grief over the death of the veteran party leader, the Congress described Fernandes as a stalwart who worked for an 'inclusive India'.
"We are deeply saddened by the demise of Shri Oscar Fernandes ji, our heartfelt condolences to his family. A Congress stalwart, his vision for an inclusive India had a huge influence on the politics of our times. The Congress family will deeply miss his mentorship & guidance," the Congress said in a tweet.
Oscar Fernandes was elected to the Lok Sabha from Karnataka's Udupi constituency in 1980. He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 1984, 1989, 1991 and 1996 from the same constituency.
In 1998, Fernandes was elected to the Rajya Sabha and was re-elected to the Upper House in 2004.