Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala is probably the poorest government head in the world. He neither has land nor a house nor a car. Other than two ordinary mobile phones, Koirala has no property at all, his key assistant said on Saturday.
The news came to the media when he submitted the details of his assets on Thursday. But it is yet to be made public by the PM Office.
Seventy-five-year-old Koirala is known in Nepal for his austere and simple lifestyle. Though he has been in active politics in the country for the past 50 years, he never held any public post before being elected as the nation’s 37th prime minister last month. Officials, who are filling up the PM’s asset details form, are having a little problem as he has nothing to mention in it.
Koirala doesn’t even have a bank account, his Chief Secretary Basanta Gautam said to PTI.
A bachelor, Koirala moved in the prime minister’s allotted quarters last month. But before shifting, as the party’s president, he was staying at a house rented by the Nepali Congress (NC).
Koirala’s simple lifestyle is contradictory to many other former prime ministers. Even after assuming the office of the prime minister, he did not bring any change in his austere life.
After the death of his father, Koirala did not take any share of his family properties when it was distributed among his brothers. If he visits his hometown, he stays with his brothers.
The prime minister, however, owns just a gold ring and a watch, but as he is not sure if the ring is made of gold he decided not to mention it in his property details. As per Nepali law, elected representatives and government officials in the country have to submit details of their own as well their relatives’ assets.
Koirala took the membership of Nepali Congress party in 2012 after Girija Prasad Koirala’s demise in 2010, and used to live in a small rented house before he moved to a bigger housing used by the former.
His party provides him personal essentials, and he used to travel from one place to another in a car provided by a party worker. These days he lives in the prime minister’s official residence and has a large convoy of cars accompanying him wherever he goes.
Koirala is a self-taught leader and holds no conventional academic qualifications. Koirala had worked as a journalist, and was the editor of Tarun, Nepali Congress party´s mouthpiece. He has written many articles advocating democratic socialism.
He started his political life actively through the Nepali Congress in 2007. He is well-known as a dedicated, saintly and gentlemanly person within the party. He is a skilled party organizer too. In Nepal, he is also known as the leader who puts his words into practice and a plain speaker.
Koirala left Nepal and went into a self-imposed exile in India after the then King Mahendra dissolved the people´s nominated parliament and government through a coup in 2017.
The Koirala has “no property, only 2 mobile phones” news immediately gained huge media attention, not only in Nepal, but also around the world. However, being the new Prime Minister, Koirala promised to give the nation a new constitution within a year and take the nation on the right track.
By Rahad Abir