Patna: Veteran socialist leader and a key figure in the Jaya Prakash Narayan-led Total Revolution of in the ‘70s that led to the collapse of the then Indira Gandhi government, George Fernandes passed away at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Tuesday after prolonged illness.
A former member of both houses of the Parliament, the socialist leader served in the Vajpayee cabinet in different capacity including Railway Minister, Communication Minister, Industry Minister, and Defense Minister,
Canceling all government events, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar declared two days of state mourning in Bihar and described Fernandes death as a major loss to the nation and a personal loss to him who, he called, was his political mentor.
At a program at Janata Dal – U office in Patna, the Chief Minister talked about Fernandes’ leadership qualities and his initiative in forming Samata Party in Bihar, the precursor to the JD-U today.
“He was my mentor and my guide. It was he who taught me to serve the public and while we all have to go one day; his death has been most painful to me. Not only the nation has lost a noble leader, I have lost my guardian,” he said.
The Chief Minister then left for Delhi to take part in the funeral service.
Seeing the mortal remains of Fernandes lying at his home in Delhi, Kumar could not hold back his tears and began crying before family members.
“He was a leader who was liked by all. As a trade union leader, his role in Mumbai for the rights of workers cannot be forgotten. Mr. Fernandes was a man of high ideals and principals who sacrificed his life at the altar of public welfare. He played a major role in the JP movement that led to the formation of Janata Party. It was under his tutelage that I learnt the ins and outs of politics and the realization that the nation is above any single individual,” Kumar said.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS