New Delhi : Former Defence Minister George Fernandes passed away on Tuesday in New Delhi, according to family members. He was 88.
Mr. Fernandes had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The family is awaiting his son Sean Fernandes’ arrival from the United States to proceed with funeral arrangements. The funeral is scheduled to be held in New Delhi.
“We are saddened to announce the passing of Shri George Fernandes early this morning. Mr. Fernandes was attended to at his home by a Max Healthcare team, which found him unresponsive and declared him dead at 06:42AM on January 29th, 2019,” Max Healthcare hospital said in a statement.
Born on June 3, 1930, Mr. Fernandes was a trade unionist, politician, journalist, agriculturist, and a member of the Rajya Sabha from Bihar.
He was a key member of the Janata Dal and founder of the Samata Party. His last stint as a parliamentarian was as a Rajya Sabha member between August 2009 and July 2010.
He was the Defence Minister in the National Democratic Alliance government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee when India fought the Kargil War in 1999. It was during his tenure that India conducted A nuclear test at Pokhran in 1998.