Bihar Government has announced a state mourning for two days and also has cancelled all official functions, following the demise of former Union Minister and Socialist leader Geroge Fernandes. George Fernandes had formed Samta Party in 1994 along with the now Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who had parted ways with Janta party. The Janata Dal had formed the government at the centre after the fall of the Rajiv Gandhi-led government due to the Bofors Scandal.
— IANS Tweets (@ians_india) January 29, 2019
Speaking about the demise of the Socialist leader, CM Nitish Kumar labelled the death as a personal loss.
“A new party was formed under his leadership and guidance. His guidance has been crucial in whatever I have learnt and whatever I strive to do for the people.” CM Nitish Kumar said. He added that everyone is destined to go one day, and since the leader was suffering from illness for a long time, death has come as a kind deliverance for him. Nevertheless, he said, this is a sad situation. Fernandes was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and had recently even contacted swine flu.
— ANI (@ANI) January 29, 2019
He was the convenor of National Democratic Alliance, headed by Bharatiya Janta Party during Atal Bihari Vajpayee tenure. His Samta Party had merged with JD(U) in 2003.
Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi also expressed grief over the demise of Fernandes. He cancelled all his public meeting, slated for today. Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that Fernandes life was full of inspiration and that it will continue to guide our youth. Vijay Kumar Choudhary, Head of Bihar’s legislative, said that Fernandes loss is irreparable one.
Indira Gandhi declared a state of Emergency on 25th June 1975, suspending all fundamental rights. Fernandes was amongst those who opposed the blatant misuse of power and was hounded for the same. He later went underground to escape arrest and prosecution. His brother, Lawrence Fernandes was arrested and tortured by Police to find out George’s whereabouts.
Fernandes became Union Minister of Industries in Morjai Desai’s government in 1977. He was also defence minister for India, during the Kargil War and 1998 Pokhran Tests.