Ex-railways minister Jaffer Sharief passes away

Ex-railways minister Jaffer Sharief passes away

Senior politician Challakere Kareem Jaffer Sharief passed away in Bengaluru on Sunday. The 85-year-old former union minister was hospitalised a few days back. Born on November 3, 1933, in Chitradurga of erstwhile Mysore Kingdom, Sharief was best known for his tenure as the Railways Minister (1991-95) in the P V Narasimha Rao Cabinet.

He brought several railway projects to Bengaluru and is credited for handling the broad gauge conversion of the railway tracks across the country. Sharief represented the Bengaluru North Lok Sabha constituency without a break between 1977 and 1996.

He was instrumental in getting the Wheel and Axle plant to Bengaluru.

Sharief started his political career in the late 60s in the Congress party when S Nijalinappa was party president. He took sides and joined the Indira Gandhi faction when the Congress split. He was known to be a close aide of Indira Gandhi.

Sharief, many times, wanted to enter the state politics and even cherished the dream of becoming chief minister. However, that was not to be. The last time Sharief contested elections was in 2009 from Bengaluru North constituency and lost to D B Chandre Gowda of the BJP.

Sharief lost two of his sons in 1996 and 2008.

During his final days, Sharief fell out with the Congress as he felt he was being sidelined.