Friday 17th of January 2020

Former finance minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari dies at 83

Kathamandu,Mar 3- Bharat Mohan Adhikari, a second generation communist leader of Nepal, who is credited for introducing the popular old-age pension scheme and ‘Aafno Gaun Aafai Banaau’ (build your village on your own) programme, as a finance minister during the first communist government in the country, passed away on Saturday. He was 83.

Born in 1936 at Bhawarpurna VDC in Mahottari district, Adhikari joined communist politics during his student life though he wasn’t a full time cadre.

Krishna Gopal Shrestha, a central committee member of the Nepal Communist Party, told the Post that Adhikari passed away at Hams hospital in Kathmandu at 9:45pm. Adhikari’s Personal Aide Mahesh Basnet also confirmed that the former finance minister passed away yesterday while undergoing treatment.

Adhikari was admitted to Kathmandu-based Hospital for Advanced Medicine and Surgery three weeks ago following problems in chest and lungs.

Earlier on Saturday evening, the hospital in a statement said the leader had developed symptoms of multiple organs failure.

A three-time minister, Adhikari also led the Ministry of Labour and Transport Management and Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affair once each.

Adhikari was a deputy prime minister in the coalition government, which was thrown out in a coup by then King Gyanendra Shah in 2005.

He is remembered for his first stint as finance minister in the first Communist-led government in 1995 led by Man Mohan Adhikari, his elder brother. That government had launched the old-age pension scheme to senior citizens and initiated the process to allocate budget to the local bodies directly.

Adhikari had undergone cystoscopy, an endoscopy of the urinary bladder via the urethra, in Bangkok in 2017.

Adhikari’s father, Ram Chandra, was a freedom fighter who faced confiscation of property by the Rana rulers for protesting against them. Unlike his elder brother Man Mohan, who was a founding member of Nepal Communist Party, Bharat Mohan joined politics at a later stage of his live. A lawyer by a profession, he performed dual work, as a party cadre and the legal counsel to his clients in the court, for long.

He also worked as a family lawyer of some big business houses of the country.

Adhikari, also faced jail terms of over a year for participating in protests against the Panchayat regime.

As a legal expert, he also worked as a member of the Constitution Drafting Recommendation Commission in 1990 after the restoration of democracy. He was elected three times in Parliament from Morang.

A Standing Committee member in then CPN-UML, Bharat Mohan Adhikari had announced his retirement from active politics in 2014. Adhikari announced his retirement during the 9th General Convention of the party as per the party statute which put 70 years of age limit to be involved in the party politics.

Adhikari is survived by his wife and three daughters

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