New Delhi| Jagran News Desk: Veteran Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Oscar Fernandes passed away at the age of 80 on Monday, September 13.

He was admitted to the Yenepoya Hospital after suffering a fall while doing Yoga at his home in July this year. Later he was shifted to ICU following a surgery to remove a clot in his brain.

Senior Congress leaders including former chief minister Siddaramaiah and State Congress chief D K Shivakumar, and Lok Sabha opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge visited the Congress veteran's house to pay their last tribute.

Fernandes is survived by his wife Blossom Fernandes and two children.

Fernandes served as Union Road Transport Minister in the UPA government. He was considered close to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and also served as Parliamentary Secretary, to Rajiv Gandhi.

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. Then in In 1998, Fernandes was elected to the Rajya Sabha and was re-elected to the Upper House in 2004.

Before joining politics Fernandes served in LIC for a very short period and tried his luck by running an enterprise at Manipal. He was involved in agriculture on their family land and in the land taken on lease (Geni) in Ambalpady, closer to his house. He ploughed the fields, grew rice, and bagged ‘Best Rice Grower Award’ from Syndicate Agricultural Foundation of Manipal.

Besides, Fernandes was also passionate about sports like kabaddi, volleyball, swimming, and arts like Yakshagana. He was a ‘Kuchipudi’ dancer which he learnt in Delhi. Further, the talented Congress leader played the mouth organ from a very young age. He used to play the harmonium, keyboard, tabla, and compose poems before getting actively involved in politics. He was a singer too. He used to sing in the church choir whenever time permitted. Fernandes' death has brought a huge loss for the party especially for people in coastal Karnataka.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha