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Nepal’s new PM has only 3 cellphones as assets

world Updated: Mar 15, 2014 00:56 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
Sushil Koirala

With just three mobile phone sets as his only assets Nepal’s new Prime Minister Sushil Koirala could be one of the poorest heads of government in the world.

Details of the 74-year-old Koirala’s assets came to light when he submitted list of his assets to the council of ministers on Wednesday. The data is yet to be made public.

“When asked about his properties the prime minister mentioned that he has nothing besides the three mobile phones,” Koirala’s media coordinator Prakash Adhikari told HT.

Koirala is known in Nepal for his austere and simple lifestyle. Though he has been in active politics for over five decades, he never held any public post before being elected as the country’s 37th prime minister last month.

“He doesn’t have any house, land, bank balance, shares in financial institutions, gold or silver ornaments,” Adhikari added.

A bachelor, Koirala doesn’t even have a bank account and his office says when they get his first salary they would open one.

Adhikari added that the prime minister decided not to take any share of his ancestral property when it was divided among his brothers after the death of their father.

“Whenever he goes to his hometown in Nepalganj he stays with his brother, Bijay Koirala’s family. They have kept a separate room allocated for him since many years now,” he stated.

The prime minister also owns a watch and a gold ring, but since he is not sure whether the ring is made of gold or not he decided against mentioning it in his property details.

Koirala, who became president of Nepali Congress after Girija Prasad Koirala’s death in 2010, used to stay in a small rented house before he shifted to a larger accommodation used by the former.

His personal needs were met by his party and he used to travel from one place to another in a car provided by a party worker.

These days he lives in the official residence of the prime minister and has a large convoy of cars accompanying him wherever he does.

A glimpse of Koirala’s simple style came to view when he led a small delegation to the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit in Myanmar this month.

Government officials and elected representatives in Nepal have to submit details of their as well their relatives properties as per law.