Former Union Minister of Railways CK Jaffer Sharief died on Sunday morning in Bengaluru, PTI reported, quoting Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao. Sharief was 85.
Sharief, a Congress leader, had collapsed on Friday after which he was taken to Fortis Hospital on Cunningham Road.
Sharief served as the minister of state for railways from 1980 to 1984. He also handled other central portfolios like irrigation and coal. Between 1991 and 1995, he served as the Union railway minister.
Sharief, a seven-time MP, contested his last Lok Sabha election in 2009. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s DB Chandre Gowda had defeated him in the Bengaluru North constituency that year.
Sharief had been under stress lately, ahead of the release of the Urdu translation of Moulana Abul Kalam Azad’s India Wins Freedom, The Hindu reported quoting an unidentified aide of the Congress leader. “He had invited former President Pranab Mukherjee for the book release that was scheduled to be held at Palace Grounds on November 28,” he said.
The news of Sharief’s death comes a day after another senior Congress leader and Kannada actor Ambareesh died in Bengaluru after suffering a cardiac arrest. The 66-year-old, often referred to as the “rebel star”, was taken to a private hospital soon after he collapsed at his home, but could not be revived.
“It is a day of tragedy for the Congress party, with another senior, loved and respected member of our family in Karnataka, Shri Jaffer Sharief Ji, passing away today,” Congress President Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter. “My condolences to his family, friends and supporters in their time of grief.”
Prime Minister Narendra Mpodi said Sharief, as a veteran parliamentarian, had enriched parliamentary proceedings. “He was an effective voice for Karnataka’s aspirations in Delhi,” Modi said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condoled Sharief’s death. “Saddened at the passing away of very senior politician and former Union Minister CK Jaffer Sharief,” Banerjee said on Twitter. “He had a special affection for me. Met him in my first term as MP. My condolences to his family and his many admirers.”