“While he was alive, no corrupt leaders dare approach him as it was known to everybody that Bhattari does not tolerate a dishonest or corrupt person.”
The whole country mourned the passage of veteran leader and former Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai on Saturday. The government decided to perform his final rites with the state honour on Sunday declaring the day a public holiday.
Hundreds of people and his well-wishers from all walks of life including the leaders from various political parties, prime minister, ministers, civil servants, and different artists visited Bhattarai’s Ashram at Badegaun, Lalitpur, where the body lay in state, to pay their tribute. Those who knew Bhattarai closely said the country lost a true democratic leader, who was known for his impeccable integrity, a rare commodity in Nepali politics.
The deceased body was taken to the Badegaun residence at mid-night after Bhattarai breathed his last at on Friday at
Vice President Paramananda Jha, Prime Minister Jhalanth Khanal, Constituent Assembly (CA) Chairman Subash Chandra Nembang, Deputy Prime Minister and Communications Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara also visited the Ashram, which remained crowded the entire day.
After paying homage to the deceased body, PM Khanal said Bhattari’s successful leadership in accomplishing the challenging task of leading the government and writing the constitution after the 1990 restoration of democracy could be a lesson to the parties today. “His sacrifice in establishing democracy in the country is incomparable to any other leaders,” said Khanal. “The nation should learn a lesson form the great leader.”
NC President Sushil Koirala dubbed Bhattarai’s demise an irreparable loss to the party and the nation alike. “Now, since we don’t have leaders like Bhattarai, Girijababu, Ganesh Man Singh and BP, we should become Bhattarai, Girijababu, Ganesh Man and BP and help materialize their dream.”
Sher Bahadur Deuba, who came to pay his respect to Bhattarai cutting short his
Deuba, who was Bhattarai’s most favored leader in the NC, said Bhattarai was not happy with the political developments following the 1990s restoration of democracy, including the seven-party decision to overthrow the monarchy and he was mainly worried about the “gradual weakening of nationalism.” Asked whether he could explain why his guru opposed federalism and advocated for monarchy in the post 2006 period, Deuba said, “That was his individual opinion and one is free to have ones own opinion. He might have some reasons to say so, which I don’t know.”
Most of Bhattarai’s well wishers and the leaders who knew him closely said Bhattarai’s strength was his conviction in his principle, and his capacity to stay firm on that even if that would make him apparently ‘unpopular’. “The country will probably hardly find a clean and transparent leader like Bhattarai,” said PL Singh, a close friend of Bhattari. “While he was alive, no corrupt leaders dare approach him as it was known to everybody that Bhattari does not tolerate a dishonest or corrupt person.”
Sing said Bhattarai was so hopeful a person that he was willing and determined to “do something” for the country till the last hour. “Some two months ago, he told me he was confident that he would live for at least 100 years and would do something. But he passed away before he could tell me what that was.”
Leaders who engaged with Bhattarai during his political career shared that it was a ‘matter of shame’ that the party could not respect the leader like him, who liked to ultimately dissociate himself entirely from the party. “It was the negative politics that pushed Bhattarai out. But it should be noted that he resigned for the sake of the party and for the sake of the democracy,” said Singh.
It was all evident on Saturday that Krishna Prasad Bhattarai was indeed a true democratic leader, a statesman and a man of flawless integrity. Leaders from across the party lines, law professionals and representatives of various organizations who visited the Badegaun Ashram to pay their last homage to the deceased body of the veteran leader, univocally lauded Bhattarai’s contribution to Nepal’s democratic movement and the lesson his leadership and his way of life could teach to the leaders today. Here is what they say:
DPM and Finance Ministry UML leader Bharat Mohan Adhikari
He is an able leader who successfully managed the transitional phase. The country will remain indebted to his contribution to hand over to power to an elected government.
NC central committee member Pradeep Giri
With Kisun Ji’s demise not only
NC leader Bimalendra Nidhi
All the politicians should follow the political culture set by Bhattarai and that can only be the true tribute to Kisun Ji.
Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Co-Chairperson JP Gupta
His theory of simple living and high thinking established him as leader with clean image. No colleague of him is comparable to his politics of conviction.
Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato
Bhattarai’s demise is an irreparable loss to
Maoist leader Amik Sherchan
All the political parties should respect and replicate his sacrifice and contribution for democracy. But he deviated at the latter stage of his political career as he opposed federalism and advocated for monarchy.
Senior advocate Harihar Dahal
The leaders should look back to Bhattarai’s successful leadership for the timely promulgation of constitution in 1990.
Constitutional Committee Chairman Nilamber Acharya
Bhattarai is a leader who delivered the 1990 constitution within a period of three month bringing different forces into a compromise. The parties should learn from him how to handle the transitional phase.
Maoist condoles Bhattarai’s death
UCPN (Maoist) said that the history will evaluate Krishna Prasad Bhattarai in his entirety. In a condolence message issued by the party on Satruday, the Maoist party lauded Bhattarai for his contribution in the fight against the Rana Oligarchy and the Panchyat. UCPN (Maoist), however, stated that Bhattarai’s weakness lied in his tendency to take stands against the wave of change, especially during the rare end of his political career. “Bhattarai remained committed to his own thoughts and principle and kept himself from the real politic and prioritized spiritualism.”