George Fernandes: The quintessential fighter

 George Fernandes

It was in the mid-1990s. The Congress government of P V Narasimha Rao was in power at the Centre. George Fernandes, the quintessential fighter, was driving back to his MP’s residence in the national capital on his old blue Fiat. On reaching, he found the gate of his house closed. He was surprised because the gate was never closed – a rarity for any MP’s bungalow in Lutyens' Delhi.

The Bihar MP found over the next few days that the gate was closed many times though they were left open earlier by him or those living in his house.

On enquiry, he found out who closed the gates.

The culprits were the Black Cats who were providing security to S B Chavan, then Union home minister. Chavan’s well-guarded residence was right opposite to Fernandes’ 6, Krishna Menon Marg residence.

And why did they repeatedly close the gate?

The Black Cats told the MP’s aides that it was part of the security drill that they needed to close gates of all the houses nearby whenever the home minister’s convoy came out or returned to the minister’s house.

Fernandes, never a stickler to security detail or protocol, was livid when he came to know of the reason for closure of the gate. The next morning, he, along with his aides, removed the gate itself!

From that day until he vacated the house on getting defeated as MP, the 6, Krishna Menon Marg residence did not possess a gate. And the Black Cats of Chavan did not have the courage to question Fernandes over the removed gates!

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