Former Union Minister Oscar Fernandes passes away - Know all about the senior Congress leader here

04:05 PM Sep 13, 2021 | Saurav Walimbe

Veteran Congress leader, former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha member Oscar Fernandes died at a private hospital in Karnataka on Monday.

Fernandes was hospitalised in July after suffering a fall while doing yoga at his house. He had also undergone a surgery to remove a clot in his brain.


Congress party on its official handle made the announcement and mourned the demise of the former leader. It also paid condolences to the family of Late. Mr Fernandes.


Congress in a tweet wrote, " We are deeply saddened by the demise of Shri Oscar Fernandes ji, our heartfelt condolences to his family. A Congress stalwart, his vision for an inclusive India had a huge influence on the politics of our times. The Congress family will deeply miss his mentorship & guidance."

Who was Oscar Fernandes?

Born on March 27, 1941, Dr Oscar Fernandes was an Indian politician, a senior Indian National Congress leader and was the Union Cabinet Minister for Transport, Road and Highways and Labour and Employment, Government of India in UPA government. He was one of the closest confidants of the present Congress President Rahul Gandhi and one of the major leaders in the taking of important decisions of Congress Party.

Oscar Fernandes' personal life:

Oscar was born to Roque Fernandes, the head of Government Composite PU College and the first President of Manipal Institute of Technology and Leonissa M. Fernandes, the first female magistrate in India, at the family estate at Udupi. Fernandes was one of 12 children in his family, and grew up with a strong Catholic background. As a child he was an altar boy, and as a youth he was active in Church activities. His family belongs to the Fernandes-Prabhu clan, a Mangalorean Catholic clan from Udyavara in Udupi district.

He married Blossom Mathias Prabhu on 26 August 1981 and had one son Oshan and one daughter Oshanie. His son Oshan is married to Frazil Quadros and Oscar's daughter Oshanie is married to Mark Saldanha. In 2002, Fernandes inaugurated the Glowinstar Academy, an integrated development school, in Ambalpady, dedicated to his father, Roque.

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Dr Oscar Fernandes' political career:

Apart from being a close confidant to Rahul Gandhi and Union Minister, he was also the Chairman of Central Election Authority of the All India Congress Committee. He was previously the AICC General Secretary, the Minister of State (Independent charge) of the Ministry of Labour and Employment in Dr. Manmohan Singh's first UPA government in India.

He served as Parliamentary Secretary to Rajiv Gandhi. He was elected to the 7th Lok Sabha in 1980 from Udupi constituency in Karnataka. He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 1984, 1989, 1991 and 1996 from the same constituency. Later, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1998. and was r-elected again in 2004.

He was a Union Minister from 2004 to 2009, holding a number of portfolios such as Statistics and Programme Implementation, NRI Affairs, Youth and Sports Affairs and Labour and Employment. He served two terms as a member of the Council of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

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