Veteran socialist George Fernandes, who was the defence minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, died on Tuesday following a prolonged illness, his long time associate Jaya Jaitly said.
He was 88. George Fernandes was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, which had forced him out of the public eye for last many years, and had recently contracted swine flu, she said, adding that he died at his home in Delhi.
George Fernandes was one of the most prominent leaders of the socialist movement in the 1970s. George Fernandes was a senior Janata Dal leader before he founded the Samata Party. Apart from the defence ministry during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government, Georges Fernandes held several ministerial portfolios including communications, industry and railways.
He rose to prominence after his surprise victory in the 1967 parliamentary elections, over a Congress veteran in Mumbai.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Tuesday condoled the death of former defence minister George Fernandes