KESHAV P. KOIRALA
KATHMANDU: Nepali Congress President and former Prime Minister Sushil Koirala died apparently of cardiac arrest after suffering from a bout of pneumonia in the wee hours of Tuesday morning , according to family sources. He was 76.
Sushil Koirala, who was expected to run for the Nepali Congress top leadership in the upcoming general convention, breathed his last at Shashanka Koirala’s residence, where he had been staying after leaving Baluwatar in last October, at around 00:50 am.
It has been learned that he suffered from pneumonia for some time and had been unable to take part in public functions for some days.
He served as Nepal’s 37th Prime Minister from February 2014 to October 2015. The new constitution was promulgated during his premiership from the elected Constituent Assembly.
In the second Constituent Assembly elections, he was elected from two constituencies, one each in Chitawan and Banke. He later resigned from Chitawan.
Koirala was elected as the Nepali Congress President in September 2010. Earlier he served in the party in various capacities.
Koirala, who was accused of failing to stick to the gentlemen’s agreement made by the top leaders of Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN-Maoist to hand over the prime ministerial berth to CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli after the promulgation of Constitution, was defeated in the prime ministerial elections by Oli in October.
He, however, had defended his decision to contest the polls, saying his candidacy was a part of democratic practice. Speaking at the Legislature Parliament prior to the prime ministerial election in October, he had said, “I know about my commitment, I have never done anything for power. Please don’t mistake it for greed of power.”
After his exit from Singha Darbar, Koirala remained as the Parliamentary Party leader of the main opposition.
Sushil Koirala earlier suffered from tongue cancer and underwent operations in the United States for successful treatment.
He was cousin of former Prime Ministers BP Koirala and Girija Prasad Koirala, and had taken part in the democratic movements in Nepal following their footsteps.
He was single and known for spartan life. Before getting elected as the Prime Minister, he did not hold any public office though his party was in power several times after 1990.