Bengaluru, Sep 16 (PTI) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday paid his last respects to former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha member Oscar Fernandes, calling him "a friend, a guide and a true soldier" of the party.

The former Congress President also met the family of Fernandes.

"Spent some time with the family of Shri Oscar Fernandes Ji and paid last respects to him- a friend, a guide and a true soldier of the Congress Party," Rahul tweeted.

Fernandes (80), who was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Mangaluru, passed away on Monday.

He had suffered head injury after a fall while practicing yoga at his residence on July 18, following which he was shifted to the ICU and had remained critical, unconscious since then.

Rahul was in the city to pay his last respects to the veteran Congress man.

After his arrival in the city this afternoon, he met the family members of the late leader including wife Blossom Fernandes, son and a daughter at their Rest House Road residence here, and participated in in the final prayer blessing at St. Patrick’s Church here.

Several national and state Congress leaders including Mallikarjun Kharge, Randeep Singh Surjewala, K C Venugopal, Margaret Alva, Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar were present.

Fernandes' body was brought to the city on Wednesday evening from Mangaluru, and it was kept at the state Congress office here earlier in the day for party leaders and workers to pay their last respects.

Condoling Fernandes death, Rahul Gandhi had earlier said, "It is a personal loss for me. He was a guide and mentor for many of us in the Congress Party. He will be missed and fondly remembered for his contributions."