Senior Congress leader and former Union railways minister CK Jaffer Sharief passed away this morning in a hospital in Bengaluru. The 85-year-old veteran was rushed to a private hospital earlier this week and was in the intensive care unit.
The news of Sharief’s demise comes as shocker to the party that is still reeling from the loss of another veteran leader and actor Ambareesh. The news of Sharief’s demise came in even as leaders of the Congress, legends of Indian cinema are paying their last respects to the mortal remains of former Mandya MP Ambareesh.
Krnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who rushed to the hospital, said Sharief was close to his father and former prime minister HD Devegowda. “Jaffer Sharief was not restricted to the minority community but had emerged as a leader of every citizen of the state. He was a great leader who gifted various central government schemes, especially railway projects, to the state,” Kumaraswamy said.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi condoled Sharief’s death. He tweeted: It is a day of tragedy for the Congress party, with another senior, loved & respected member of our family in Karnataka, Shri Jaffer Sharief Ji, passing away today. My condolences to his family, friends & supporters in their time of grief. #JafferSharief
“One of @INCIndia’s senior most leaders, many times MP and one of India’s most successful Railway minister, Karnataka’s very own son Sri CK Jaffer Shareef has passed away. A national leader who had a great connect across all communities, a truly secular leader. My condolences. (SIC)” tweeted Dinesh Gundu Rao, President, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee.
Former External Affairs minister SM Krishna recalled his association with Sharief, saying, “He was a great visionary and was able to very effectively represent all sections of society”. The RSS, with which Sharief had maintained cordial relations, condoled his death and said he was well known to many senior sangh functionaries and supportive of social causes.
The leader was preparing for the release of the book ‘India wins freedom’ by Moulana Abdul Kalam Azad in Urdu, scheduled to be released on the 28th of this month. The Bengaluru-Mysuru Broadgauge conversion and Double-line was his brain-child. He was responsible for the introduction of Chamundi Express and Tipu Express between Garden City Bengaluru and City of Palaces Mysuru.