MPs' praise George Fernandes' contribution to Indian politics

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New Delhi, Aug.6 (ANI): In a rare show of unity, Members of Parliament of the Janata Dal (United) and those representing the state of Bihar gathered at the 3, Krishna Menon Marg residence of well-known socialist leader and former Defence Minister George Fernandes to congratulate him on his recent election to the Rajya Sabha.

Fernandes played host at a reception here this evening at which he received plaudits and praise from politcians, cutting across party lines.

Leading the praise was Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, who said: "We wish you all success in your new stint as Rajya Sabha member. Your services to the socialist movement in India, as a founder member of the Janata Dal, as a parliamentarian in the Lok Sabha, as a Railways and Defence Minister and as a convenor of the NDA are hard to match and indeed praiseworthy."

Fernandes took oath as a member of the Rajya Sabha on August 4, but on that day,he looked a pale shadow of his former self.

In a political career spanning several decades, Fernandes has earned a string of sobriquets - from giant killer to firebrand to stormy petrel.

Prior to becoming a member of the Rajya Sabha, he fought nine general elections, and was a member of the Lok Sabha after each one of his wins.

He was escorted into the Upper House by his JD(U) colleagues Shivanand Tiwari and N K Singh along with BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad.

He took his oath with assistance from Tiwari.

Fernandes had contested the recent Lok Sabha election as a rebel candidate from Muzaffarpur after he was denied ticket by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on health grounds.

At the time, Fernandes refused Kumar's offer of a berth in the Rajya Sabha. Though the seat was won by the JD(U), Kumar reached out to Fernandes to renew the offer. This time, Fernandes accepted. (ANI)

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