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Fernandes gave paramount importance to well-being of the downtrodden: Manmohan

Fernandes gave paramount importance to well-being of the downtrodden: Manmohan

New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) Former prime minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday expressed profound sorrow over the demise of George Fernandes and said the country has lost a versatile personality who excelled as a mass leader and gave importance to the downtrodden.In a letter to the socialist leader's wife Leila Kabir Fernandes, Singh said he joins numerous admirers and well-wishers in mourning his death."In his death our country has lost a versatile personality who with his unparalleled efficiency excelled as a mass leader and gave paramount importance to the well-being of the downtrodden people of our country," he said in his letter."I take this opportunity to convey to you and other members of your family my heartfelt condolences on this bereavement. We pray to the Almighty to give all of you the strength to bear this great loss with courage and fortitude," he also said.Fernandes, who was railway minister in the V P Singh cabinet and defence minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, died here Tuesday at the age of 88.He was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, which had forced him out of the public eye for several years. PTI SKC ZMN