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Karnataka: Congress leader and close aide of the Gandhis, Oscar Fernandes passes away

Karnataka: Congress leader and close aide of the Gandhis, Oscar Fernandes passes away

Mangaluru, Sep 13 (UNI) Senior Congress leader, former Union Minister and a close aide of the Gandhi family, Oscar Fernandes breathed his last here on Monday.
He was 80.
Fernandes was undergoing treatment in the ICU of Yenepoya Hospital in the city since July after he suffered injuries in an accidental fall.
He is survived by his wife Blossom Fernandes and two children.
Oscar was born on March 27, 1941 to Roque Fernandes and Leonissa Fernandes, who was the first women's bench magistrate of undivided Dakshin Kannada district.
Before joining politics, he served in LIC for a brief period and tried his luck by running an enterprise at Manipal.
Oscar was very close to AICC leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, and had served as Rajiv Gandhi's Parliament Secretary.
In the Manmohan Singh cabinet, he held transport and labour portfolios and worked as AICC's Central Election Authority Chairman.
Oscar was twice KPCC president in the 1980s. He climbed up the ladder at the national level by winning the seventh Lok Sabha election from Udupi constituency. For the next four consecutive Lok Sabha elections, Oscar won from the same seat.
He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1998 and re-elected in 2004.
Oscar also served as union minister from 2004 to 2009, holding various portfolios including statastics, youth and sports affairs, NRI affairs, among others.
Having penchant for various sports, Oscar was a Kuchipudi dancer and able musical instrument player. He was good at playing the harmonium, keyboard and tabla, besides he also composed poems and was a singer too.
Oscar had his education at St Cecily’s Convent School, at Board High school and in MGM College, Udupi.

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