Sushma Swaraj-led delegation in Nepal, pays homage to Sushil Koirala

After paying homage to the Nepali Congress president, Swaraj met party leaders Ram Chandra Poudel and Krishna Prasad Sitaula.

PTI| Updated: Feb 09, 2016, 21:27 PM IST
Sushma Swaraj-led delegation in Nepal, pays homage to Sushil Koirala
Pic courtesy: ANI

Kathmandu: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj-led all-party delegation on Tuesday paid homage to former Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala here, saying India has lost a "true friend".

Members of the high-level delegation comprising Congress leader Anand Sharma, JD(U) President Sharad Yadav, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval paid their last respects to Koirala at the Dashrath Rangashala Stadium in heart of the capital just after arriving.

"Sad demise of former prime minister of Nepal and leader of Nepali Congress has deeply saddened the leadership, government and the people of India. A dedicated leader, Sushil ji was a man of high thinking and simple living," the delegation's message in the condolence book read.

"Nepal's crucial political transition was successfully concluded under his stewardship. On behalf of the people and government of India, we convey our heartfelt condolences. India has today lost a true friend," it said.

The leaders also extended their condolences to family members of the former Prime Minister.

After paying homage to the Nepali Congress president, Swaraj met party leaders Ram Chandra Poudel and Krishna Prasad Sitaula.

Swaraj, along with the delegation, later also called on Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

"India always stands by Nepal in its hour of grief," Oli told Swaraj during their meeting.

Official sources said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reached out to all major political parties to ensure that the delegation has leaders from the opposition as well.

Koirala, who was Nepal's Prime Minister from February 11, 2014, to October 10, 2015, passed away due to pneumonia at his residence here this morning. He was 79.

After assuming office, he was tasked with formulating the long-delayed Constitution to bring stability to the nation after years of ethnic conflict and the abolition of the 239-year-old monarchy. He was instrumental in the ushering in of the new Constitution last year.