Sushil Koirala Biography

Sushil Koirala, a prominent Nepalese politician and former Prime Minister of Nepal, dedicated his life to serving his country. With a family legacy of political involvement, including cousins who also held the position of Prime Minister, Koirala played an active role in Nepalese politics for over six decades. Despite facing exile and imprisonment, he remained committed to his party, the Nepali Congress, and held various leadership positions within the organization. Koirala’s contributions to Nepal’s political and societal sectors are remembered and respected even after his passing in February 2016.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Sushil Prasad Koirala
  • Died At Age: 76
  • Family:
    • Father: Bodh Prasad Koirala
    • Mother: Kuminidi Koirala
  • Prime Ministers
  • Leo Leaders
  • Died on: February 9, 2016
  • Place of death: Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Diseases & Disabilities: Tongue Cancer, Lung Cancer
  • Cause of Death: Pneumonia

Childhood & Early Life

Sushil Koirala was born on August 12, 1939 in Biratnagar, Nepal. He was one of six sons and nine children born to Bodh Prasad Koirala and Kuminidi Koirala. He came from the famous Koirala family of Nepal, with three of his cousins, Girija Prasad Koirala, Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, and Matrika Prasad Koirala, serving as Prime Ministers of Nepal at different times. While he claimed to have had an informal education, it is believed that he attended a college in India where he completed his I.Com degree.


Sushil Koirala was motivated by the social and democratic principles of the Nepali Congress party, which led him to join politics in his teens in 1954. His three cousins, Girija Prasad Koirala, Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, and Matrika Prasad Koirala, were also members of the Nepali Congress party and held high ranks. After joining the party, he became actively involved in the objective of carrying out democratic elections in Nepal. In 1959, the first ever democratic election was held in Nepal, resulting in his cousin Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala becoming the Prime Minister.

However, in December 1960, King Mahendra executed a coup and expelled Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, leading to the exile of several members of the Nepali Congress party in India, including Sushil Koirala. During his exile, he actively participated in the resistance movement against the government of the King. He also began editing the party’s periodical, ‘Tarun’, in Varanasi. In 1973, he was involved in the hijacking of an aeroplane, which provided funds for the Nepali Congress party. However, he was incarcerated and spent three years in Indian jails.

In 1979, Sushil Koirala returned to Nepal and continued his efforts in setting up a democratic government in the country. In 1990, an agreement was reached with the ruling monarchy, leading to the establishment of a democratic government. He was inducted as a member of the Central Working Committee of the Nepali Congress party and eventually rose up in the party hierarchy. He served as the General Secretary of the party in 1996 and became the Vice President two years later. After the death of Girija Prasad Koirala in 2010, Sushil Koirala was elected as the President of the Nepali Congress party.


Under the leadership of Sushil Koirala, the Nepali Congress party emerged as the largest party in the 2013 Constituent Assembly elections. He became the Prime Minister of Nepal on February 10, 2014, after securing 105 votes. However, his government faced criticism for its response to various crises, including the avalanche on Mount Everest and the devastating earthquake in Nepal in 2015. Sushil Koirala remained unmarried throughout his life and led a simple lifestyle. He was known as ‘Sushil daa’ and was a heavy smoker. He passed away on February 10, 2016 due to pneumonia.

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