PHIDIM: Former minister and leader Padma Sundar Lawati today died while receiving treatment at Norvic Hospital, in Thapathali, Kathmandu. He died at the age of 86. He was suffering from multiple complications, including kidney and respiratory ailments. Lawati was born in Baluchistan, Pakistan (then India) on July 22, 1939. He was brought to his ancestral land Yasoka when he was two years old. His active involvement in politics had begun in 1957, while he was a student. In 1962, Lawati held the post of Rastriya Panchayat-affiliated Youth Association Zonal President. Two years later, he became Pradhan Panch (chief) of Yasoka Village Panchayat and three years after that, he became a member of the District Panchayat. Lawati held the post of Home and Health minister 12 times. Lawati was considered a guardian by Panchthar locals and his demise has left the people bereaved. During his stints in the cabinet, different development works including Mechi Highway,electrification in Phidim and Yasoka were executed. During Lawati’s tenure as Health Minister, a hospital with 25 beds was set up in Bhadrapur. Likewise, a hospital with 15 beds was set up in Phidim. He is survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters. Lawati had extended help to late king Birendra Bir Bikaram Shah as well as ex-king Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah during time of political instability in the country. He had also vented his discontent towards the kings for not making him Prime Minister.  “The kings did not believe that a Limbu’s son could ever become a PM,” Lawati had complained. Lawati was also the co-chairman of Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal. After he was defeated by party Chairman Kamal Thapa, he had split the party and established a parallel party. He was the chairman of the disgruntled faction. Declaration of a republic Nepal had left Lawati disappointed as he had long been advocating constitutional monarchy and Hindu state. In his meeting with ex-premier Lokendra Bahadur Chand just a day earlier, Lawati had advised Chand to forge an alliance to pitch for referendum for Hindu state and constitutional monarchy. Party leaders and cadres in the district said Lawati was not only an honest politician but also a development seeker.