Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today condoled the death of former Union Defence Minister George Fernandes.
Fernandes passed away at the age of 88 on Tuesday morning following a prolonged illness. He was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Recently, he contracted swine flu.
“Deeply saddened at passing away of former Union minister & stalwart leader George Fernandes. It is a great loss for the nation both politically as well as intellectually. Pray for his soul to rest in peace and my condolences for his family & followers,” Chief Minister Patnaik tweeted.
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also took to the twitter to express his grief. “Deeply saddened by the passing away of former Defence Minister Shri George Fernandes. A veteran socialist leader, an Anti-Emergency crusader & a man of immense courage, his death leaves a big void in Indian Polity. My thoughts & prayers are with his family in this hour of grief,” Pradhan tweeted.
Fernandes held the Defence Ministry portfolio from 2001 to 2004 under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA Government. Apart from Defence, he also held the portfolios of Communications, Industry and Railways under various Governments at the Centre.