RIP George Fernandes: 5 interesting facts to know about him

Former BJP Union minister and minister of Defence George Fernandes has passed away today. He was suffering from a prolonged illness and was 88 years old. According to some reports, his last rites will be held in Delhi after his son Sean Fernandes arrives in India from the states. PM Narendra Modi has expressed his grief over the death and says 

“During his long years in public life, George Sahab never deviated from his political ideology. He resisted the emergency tooth and nail. His simplicity and humility were noteworthy. My thoughts are with his family, friends and lakhs of people grieving.”

While the nation and its ruling party are mourning the loss. ObserveNow brings to you 5 Chapters of Fernandes life:

  


1-Public Life- Fernandez was a former Indian trade unionist, politician, journalist, agriculturist, and Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar. He was a key member of Janta Dal and was the founder of the Samta Party. He has held several ministerial portfolios including communications, industries, railways and defence. 


2- Arrest in the Emergency Era-in 1975 then PM of India Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency in the country. All fundamental rights of the citizens were ceased. Fernandes along with other like-minded leaders revolted against what they called a blatant misuse of power. He was later arrested in Calcutta. After the arrest Amnesty international cabled the government to give him a lawyer and protection. Leaders from Norway, Germany and Austria warned Gandhi against harming him. 

 

3- Defence Ministry-Fernandes has served as the minister of Defence for India in both second and third NDA(National Democratic Alliance). It was during his tenure as a defence India shined bright on the world map. As India won the Kargil war and successfully conducted five nuclear tests at Pokhran. Earlier a staunch supporter of nuclear disarmament he openly supported ND’s decision to test the nuclear bombs. 

 

4- After Defence Ministership- When NDA lost majority to UPA(United Progressive Alliance) in 2004, political observers alleged that he was locked in a bitter party rivalry with his one-time friend and co-founder of Samta party Nitish Kumar. He later filed nomination as an independent candidate for the midterm polls for Rajya Sabha and won as JD(u) did not file any candidate against him. 

 

5-CIA Funding-During the emergency era, as the chairman of the Socialist Party of India he faced persecution for alleged conspiracy against the n then PM Indira Gandhi. He allegedly tried to get funding from US intelligence agency CIA to sabotage government activities in the country. US diplomatic sources at the time said that he was prepared to take money from CIA.

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