-  Tuesday 29 September 2020

Chandra Shekhar, Nepalís long-time friend, passes away

 -  The Kathmandu Post

July 09 2007 - Nepal's long-time friend, former Indian Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, passed away Sunday morning after a prolonged battle with bone cancer. He was 80.
A socialist and strong critic of liberalization policies, Chandra Shekhar, who was from Uttar Pradesh, served briefly as the 11th prime minister of India from 1990 to 1991. He served one term in the Rajya Sabha and was elected to the Lok Sabha for the eighth term in the 2004 elections, according to agencies.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has said he was deeply saddened by the demise of the former Indian prime minister. "In his demise, India has lost a leader who devoted his entire life for the progress of the people of India as well as India as a country, while Nepal has lost a true and close friend," Koirala has said in his message to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today, according to RSS.

Leaders in Nepal say that the late former Indian PM injected the revolutionary spirit into an agitated yet disorganized Nepali people, which consequently resulted in the 1990 movement.

Prakash Man Singh, vice-president Nepali Congress (Democratic) and son of late Ganesh Man Singh, reminisced Chandra Shekhar addressing a mass in Chaksibari on January 18, 1990, just before the launch of the first Janaandolan, "Dictators always reside in the hearts of the people in the form of fear. Get rid of that fear and

your movement will succeed immediately."

Singh said the Chaksibari address by the Indian socialist leader inspired Nepalis to go ahead with the movement. "As a socialist leader, he was a source of inspiration to Nepali people," Singh added. "He was a person of remarkable simplicity and astounding integrity."

Meanwhile, political parties expressed condolence on the demise of the former Indian prime minister.

Issuing a statement, the Nepali Congress (NC) said that the party is deeply aggrieved by the demise of a "well-wisher of Nepal's democratic movement".

"Chandra Shekharji's contribution to democratic movements in this region is incomparable," NC said in a statement issued after the party's working committee meeting held at Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's residence in Baluwatar.

Issuing a separate statement, Nepali Congress (Democratic) President Sher Bahadur Deuba expressed deep sadness over the demise of the former Indian PM. "With his demise, India has lost an able leader and Nepal has lost a close friend," Deuba said in the statement.

Stating that the late Indian PM's life, struggle, ideas and political journey is an example to all, Deuba added that Chandra Shekhar helped Nepal not only in pro-democracy movements, but also to strengthen democracy.

Similarly, CPN (UML) said in a statement that Chandra Shekhar was always supportive of the fight of Nepalese people for full sovereignty and democracy.

"We are deeply saddened by his demise," the party said in the statement. "We express our condolence to the bereaved family, the people of India and the government of India."

Likewise, Nepal Sadbhavana Party (A), in a statement, expressed sadness over the demise. Stating that Chandra Shekhar was a source of inspiration for Nepalis too, the party said, "His courageous role in the democratic struggle of 1990 will never be forgotten."

Chandra Shekhar was an instrumental figure in forging the anti-Indira Gandhi coalition during the 70s'. Owing to the coalition, the Janata Party, of which he was a leader, swept the general elections in 1977, defeating the formidable Congress (I) in the parliamentary elections.

Source: The Kathmandu Post

Other articles by reporter The Kathmandu Post

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