Kathmandu: Nepal’s former prime minister Sushil Koirala, who died on Tuesday, epitomised the adage “simple living, high thinking”, visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said.
Koirala, president of the Nepali Congress, died in the early hours of Tuesday at his Maharajgunj residence in Kathmandu.
Sushma Swaraj signed a condolence message on behalf of the Indian people, the government and the visiting all-party delegation at the Dasarath Stadium, where Koirala’s body was kept for the public to pay homage.
“Sad demise of former prime minister and leader of Nepali Congress Sushil Koirala-ji has deeply saddened the leadership, government and people of India,” she wrote.
She said Koirala was a “dedicated leader” and a “man of high thinking and simple living”.
Nepal’s crucial political transition was successfully concluded under his statesmanship, she said.
“On behalf of the people and the government of India, we convey our heartfelt condolences and India has today lost a true friend,” Sushma Swaraj wrote.
Before signing the condolence message, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Congress leader and former union minister Anand Sharma, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Janata Dal-United chief Sharad Yadav paid homage to Koirala.
Sushma Swaraj later left for a meeting with Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli at his residence. Oli is scheduled to visit India later this month.
The Indian delegation arrived in Kathmandu on Tuesday evening aboard a special flight.
While the other Indian leaders will attend the last rites of Koirala on Wednesday, Sushma Swaraj will return on Tuesday evening itself.
The Nepal government will accord a state funeral to Koirala. His last rites will be conducted at the Pashupati Arya Ghat on the banks of the Bagmati river. The government has announced a public holiday on Wednesday.