R.I.P. Oscaranna! Fans Pay Last Respects to Mortal Remains of Oscar Fernandes at DK Congress Bhavan

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R.I.P. Oscaranna! Fans and Congress Party Supporters Pay Last Respects to Mortal Remains of Congress Veteran Leader Oscar Fernandes at Dakshina Kannada District Congress Bhavan, at Mallikatta, Mangaluru between 3.30 pm & 5.00 pm on Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Mangaluru: ‘Oscaranna’, as he was called by party workers, Congress Veteran Leader Oscar Fernandes always wore a smile and was easily approachable. Sources reveal that in his entire political career spanning five decades, right from when he was a member of the Udupi town municipal council in 1972, he was never known to have lost his cool. Thousands of supporters and fans paid their last respects to the mortal remains of Oscar Fernandes at the Dakshina Kannada District Congress Bhavan, at Mallikatta, Mangaluru between 3:30 pm & 5:00 pm on Tuesday, 14 September 2021. People standing on either side of the road showered flowers on the vehicle carrying the mortal remains of Oscar Fernandes who passed away at the age of 80 on September 13 at Yenepoya Specialty Hospital, Kodialbail, Mangaluru.

The mortal remains of the former union minister were shifted to Udupi from Father Muller’s Hospital, Mangaluru on 14 September and after reaching Udupi, His body was received at the Mother of Sorrows Church in Udupi. Last rites and funeral mass were conducted at Church by Udupi Diocese Bishop Dr Gerald Issac Lobo and the body was then shifted to Udupi District Congress Bhavan. Social Welfare minister Kota Srinivas Poojary, former ministers Vinay Kumar Sorake, Pramod Madhwaraj, U.T. Khader and other leaders offered their respects there, before Oscar’s mortal remains were taken back to DK Congress Bhavan in Mangaluru.

FAMILY MEMBERS OF OSCAR FERNANDES (Seated and one person standing far right in blue shirt)

Under huge police security, hundreds of Oscar’s fans lined the street in front of Congress Bhavan to have the last glimpse and pay last respect to their favourite senior Congress leader. Among those who paid their respects were the President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee D K Shivakumar; Former ministers Ramanath Rai, Abhayachandra Jain, Vinay Sorake, MLA U T Khader, former MLA’s J R Lobo and Moideen Bava; DK Deputy Commissioner Dr K V Rajendra; Mangaluru Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar; DCP Hariram Shanker; Syrian Catholic Church Bishop; and a bunch of politicians, among others.

Former minister Ramanath Rai said, “I am deeply saddened by the loss since Oscar was a tall Congress leader whose popularity was evident from the fact that he was elected five times to the Lok Sabha and twice to the Rajya Sabha. He was a gifted leader and an efficient administrator who served as a minister in the central government during the UPA term. His service to the country, state, Mangaluru and Udupi districts will always be remembered. Considered to be close to the Gandhi family, Oscar Fernandes rose up to the ranks in the Congress and was always consulted on major political decisions. With his loss, the Congress party has lost a gem of a person and a great leader”.

Expressing grief, D K Shivakumar said, “Oscar Fernandes has left his mark on national politics. He was a simple and a gentleman-politician. Serving the country and the party in various roles, Fernandes will always be warmly remembered for his untiring dedication and vision. His (Fernandes) dedication to the service of the people will be long remembered. He was one of the national leaders who always maintained close ties with the southern State. May his soul rest in peace. I pray that the almighty gives his family the strength to bear the loss.”

MLA U T Khader said, “Oscar Sir was one of the rare leaders who was accessible to everyone and earned a place in people’s hearts. There will be no replacement for Fernandes and his memories will always inspire the party. The death of our great leader Oscar is a great loss to the Congress as he was present at all crucial junctures of the party’s politics. When I visited Him in hospital, I was optimistic that he would make a quick recovery. However, Oscar Sir said goodbye. I extend my condolences to his family and friends. My heartfelt tribute to my mentor Oscar Sir”.

Former MLC Ivan D’Souza said, “Our Dear Congress leader Oscar Fernandes had a pleasant personality, he was a gifted leader and an efficient administrator who will be remembered for his service to the country. He was very popular among the common people of Karnataka, which is evident from the fact that he was elected five times to Lok Sabha and two times to the Rajya Sabha. His hard work, pleasant nature and popularity had made him one of the tallest leaders of the Congress Party from Karnataka who helped the Congress Party in making many important decisions. I had taken many suggestions and ideas from Him, which had benefited me a lot in my political career. We all will miss a strong and dedicated Congress leader. May his soul Rest In Peace”.

Manjunath Bhandary, the Chairman of Sahyadri Institutions said that Oscar Fernandes was a gifted leader and an efficient administrator who served as a Minister in the Central UPA Government. His services to the country, especially to the state of Karnataka, will always be remembered by the people of our country. I had a very close relationship with him for decades and he was my true mentor, from whom I have learnt and gained a lot. He will be missed by his loyal fans. I extend my condolences to his bereaved family and friends”.

After the viewing of the mortal remains of Oscar was done at the DK Congress Bhavan, his body was shifted back to Father Muller Hospital Mortuary. Tomorrow, Wednesday (Sep 15), the mortal remains will be taken to Milagres Church, Hampankatta, Mangaluru where his body will be kept for public viewing from 9:30 am onwards, followed by a prayer mass concelebrated by Archbishop of Bengaluru Rev Dr Peter Machado, joined by Bishop of Mangaluru Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, among other clery of Mangaluru. Early evening on Wednesday the body will be airlifted by chartered flight to Bengaluru and will be kept at the morgue overnight.

On Thursday (Sept 16) the mortal remains will reach Congress headquarters in Bengaluru. The final blessing is organized at Saint Patrick’s Church from 3:30 p.m. onwards and burial will be conducted at Hosur Cemetery, Bengaluru.

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