CK Jaffer Sharief, Veteran Congress leader passes away at 85

Bengaluru: Veteran Congress leader and former Union minister CK Jaffer Sharief passed away on Sunday at a private hospital here following a cardiac arrest, doctors said. He was 85.

Sharief was hospitalised after he collapsed while getting into his car for attending the Friday namaz. Family sources said Sharief was not keeping well for quite some time. He is survived by two daughters.

Hospital sources said Sharief died of cardiac arrest.

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao tweeted: “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.”

Congress MLA and Sharief’s family friend NA Harris told that the doctors had planned to implant pacemaker in his heart Sunday but he died before he could be brought to the operation table.

Born on 3 November, 1933 at Challakere in Chitradurga, Sharief had an illustrious political career spanning 50 years.

Launching his career under the tutelage of the then Congress stalwart and former chief minister S Nijalingappa, Sharief had, however, sided with former prime minister Indira Gandhi after the split in the Congress.

He was a seven-time MP from Bengaluru North constituency and served as the Railway minister in the PV Narasimha Rao government between 1991 and 1995.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi condoled Sharief’s death. He tweeted:

Sharief had on occasions threatened to quit the Congress, sulking over being “sidelined” in the party and being denied ticket to him or his family members, but had withdrawn it on being pacified by the party high command.

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.