Yashwant Sinha
Yashwant Sinha

George Fernandes used to travel in ecomony class even when he was a minister: Yashwant Sinha

ANI | Updated: Jan 29, 2019 13:27 IST

Noida (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Jan 29 (ANI): Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday said that former Defence Minister George Fernandes was a very simple man and used to travel in economy class even when he was part of the Union Cabinet.
Fernandes passed away on Tuesday at the age of 88. He was the Defence Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government when the Kargil War broke out between India and Pakistan in 1999, and India conducted its nuclear tests at Pokhran (1998). Besides that, he also held several ministerial portfolios including communications, industry and railways.
"It is very sad news. He had been not keeping well for many days. He was like an elder brother to me. Our association started when I left my job and joined Janata party. Before that, he was like an icon to us. We used to hear about him - how big fighter he was. When I met him I felt like I was meeting my hero," Sinha told ANI.
"Once Fernandes was contesting elections from Banka in Bihar, it was an honour for me that he told Chandra Shekhar that he wants me to be his pool in-charge and poll agent. I stayed at his house in Banka for many days. It was a tough fight. He didn't win. But it gave me an opportunity to look at his working style and learn from him. Everybody used to say that he was a simple man. I used to feel good spending time with him. He did a lot of work in the Defence Ministry," he added.
Recalling an incident with Fernandes, Sinha said: "He (Fernandes) had resigned from the Defence Ministry after Tehelka episode. I still remember once during this time he came to meet me. At that time some restrictions were imposed near North Block due to Republic Day. Farnendes didn't call me and asked for special permission to reach North Block. He parked his car at Vijay Chowk and walked to my office. While talking he didn't mention this thing and left. Coincidentally, when I saw from the office window, I saw him walking on the road till Vijay Chowk. He used to travel in economy class even when he was a minister and used to sit on the end seat." (ANI)