New Delhi, Feb.9 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will lead a delegation to Kathmandu on Tuesday to attend the last rites of former Nepal prime minister Sushil Koirala, who passed away early this morning.
“Leaving for Nepal with S/Shri Anand Sharma Sharad Yadav SR Yechuri and Ajit Doval for homage to Sushil Koirala ji,” Swaraj tweeted.
Cutting across party lines, the leaders of various political parties condoled Koirala’s demise and hailed his contribution to politics of Nepal.
President Pranab Mukherjee in his condolence message said Koirala worked tirelessly to foster the close relations between India and Nepal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his part said India has lost a valued friend.
“In Sushil Koirala ji, NC has lost a big leader who served Nepal for decades & India lost a valued friend. Pained by his demise. RIP,” Prime Minister Modi said in tweet.
“Sushil Koirala ji’s simplicity holds lessons for all of us. My condolences to the Koirala family & people of Nepal in this hour of grief,” he added.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also condoled Koirala’s demise.
“Saddened by the death of former Prime Minister of Nepal & Nepali Congress President, Sh. Sushil Koirala. May God bless the departed soul,” tweeted Jaitley.
“The news of Sushil Koirala ji’s demise is deeply saddening. He was Nepal’s one of the most seasoned politician and also a true statesman.With Sushil Koirala ji’s demise Nepal has lost a powerful voice and a wonderful human being. My condolences to the bereaved Koirala family,” Singh said in a series of tweets.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi also expressed their condolences.
“My heartfelt condolences to the people of Nepal on the passing away of former PM & Nepali Congress President Shri Sushil Koiralaji,” Rahul tweeted.
“A committed democrat Sushil Koiralaji had a long association with India. His loss will be deeply mourned,” he added.
Koirala will be cremated on Wednesday and will be honoured with a state funeral and public holiday.
The government also decided not to organise any formal programmes for the next three days and condolence books will be opened for Koiral at Nepalelse embassies in foreign countries on February 12 and 13.
Koirala was suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Born on August 12, 1939 in Banaras, Koirala was the cousin of former prime ministers Matrika Prasad Koirala, Girija Prasad Koirala and Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala.
Koirala also spent three years in Indian prisons for his involvement in a plane hijacking in 1973.
He entered politics in 1954 and was in political exile in India for 16 years following the royal takeover of 1960.
He joined the Nepali Congress in 1952 and served in various capacities prior to becoming its president in 2010. (ANI)