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Leaders hail Fernandes as fearless, indefatigable fighter

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Leaders cutting across party lines on Tuesday hailed former and as a who fought for protecting democracy and raised his voice for the rights of the poor and marginalised.

Fernandes "epitomised simple living and high thinking", said who was joined by Vice M Venkaiah Naidu, and other leaders in condoling the demise of Fernandes on Tuesday at the age of 88.

Recalling Fernandes' contribution, Modi said he was a simple, humble, who never deviated from his political ideology and resisted the Emergency tooth and nail.

Fernandes was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, which had forced him out of the public eye several years ago, and had recently contracted

"Distressed to learn of the passing of Shri George Fernandes, who served in many capacities, including as He epitomised simple living and high thinking. And was a champion of democracy, during the Emergency and beyond. We will all miss him," Kovind said.

Describing Fernandes as a "fighter" for the working class, said he was a "multi-faceted personality"

"Shri Fernandes was a fighter for working class, a trade unionist, an upright politician, an able administrator, a great parliamentarian and above all was a good human being," he said.

In a series of tweets, Modi said, "represented the best of India's political leadership. Frank and fearless, forthright and farsighted, he made a valuable contribution to our country. He was among the most effective voices for the rights of the poor and marginalised."


"When we think of Fernandes, we remember most notably the who fought for justice, the leader who could humble the mightiest of politicians at the hustings," he said.

"A who made safe and strong. During his long years in public life, never deviated from his political ideology. He resisted the Emergency tooth and nail. His simplicity and humility were noteworthy," the PM said.

Former President said he was pained by the demise of his long time friend in the opposition and colleague in Parliament.

chief said the stood steadfastly to protect the country's democratic values and his political persona left an indelible mark on country's political history.

"The most abiding memories of Fernandes ji are those of his fierce opposition to the Emergency in 1975. He stood steadfastly to protect India's democratic values," Shah said.

President also condoled the demise of former defence minister

leader recalled his long association with Fernandes and described him as a who always fought for justice.

He "took up the cause for the poor and was a very effective parliamentarian," Advani said in a statement.

Harivansh, in his condolence message, said Fernandes was an indefatigable fighter all his life for freedom of expression, thought, justice and liberty for all.

"His life and works shall always remain a forceful inspiration for the people even after his demise. He was a true not only in his views but also in his down-to-earth style and personality," he said.

lauded Fernandes' fiery oratory and his contributions as and

Trinamool said Fernandes was a much admired

and BJD leader said it is a great loss for the country, politically as well as intellectually.

said Fernandes "held kept aloft the beacon of democracy in the darkest hour of the Emergency".

Tamil K Palaniswami condoled the demise of the former defence minister, hailing him as a "multi-faceted" personality.

The CPI also paid tributes to Fernandes, recalling his leader's contributions as a trade unionist.

Condolences poured in from all quarters in Bihar, with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was a long-time associate of Fernandes, declaring a two-day state mourning.

Jailed RJD supremo Lalu Prasad tweeted, "Extremely saddened to hear about the demise of socialist leader, freedom fighter and former Defence Minister Shri George Fernandes".

and leader said on Twitter, "A great fighter and symbol of anti-Congressism. of alliance between BJP and which led to fall of RJD rule in As convenor of NDA played an important role in Nobody can match George. RIP".

Former chief ministers of Jammu and and also paid tributes to Fernandes.

"Rest in peace Sahib. You were a tireless crusader fighting for the voiceless, the marginalised & for those that needed someone in their corner. You called a spade a spade & did so unabashedly. You were always a friend & well wisher of the people of J&K. God speed," Omar tweeted.

"Today we mourn the loss of a titan. He represented an era of leaders who were true statesmen and not just politicians," Mehbooba said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 29 2019. 17:30 IST
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