|Oscar Fernandes during the Swearing-in|
The only saving grace for bureaucrats in Transport Bhawan, however, will be that Fernandes does not call his babus for a meeting at night though he happily invites his guests, mainly senior Congress leaders from states, at 11 pm or even at mid-night. The Congress activists who desperately want to meet their leader, known for his proximity to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, will hang around near his office at mid-night to meet him just for a minute of two.
Fernandes was first elected to Lok Sabha in 1980 from Karnataka’s Udupi constituency. His ability as an event organizer was first spotted by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi under whom Fernandes witnessed a meteoric rise within the party. Later, he became a trusted soldier of Sonia Gandhi as well.
Even as road minister, Fernandes is likely to spend a considerable amount of time for his party work. As a minister, his mind will be with the government. After all, the fast-tracking of road projects is turning into a big challenge for the government. Yet, his heart will still remain with the party.
Here is a footnote. Fernandes occasionally performs Kuchipudi at select cultural events.