Nepali Congress leader Nabindra Raj Joshi dies at 57

The former industry minister, known as a humble and soft-spoken person, was battling for life for the past one month after suffering a brain hemorrhage.

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Kathmandu-Nepali Congress leader Nabindra Raj Joshi died on Friday evening. He was 57.

According to Rajendra Bahadur Singh, executive director at Norvic International Hospital in Thapathali, Joshi breathed his last at 8:24pm.

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Joshi, a former industry minister, had been admitted to Norvic Hospital on February 26 after suffering brain hemorrhage.

His health, however, continued to deteriorate and he was under ventilator support for the last one month.

“I am saddened by the untimely demise of Nepali Congress leader, excellent organizer and former minister, Nabindra Raj Joshi,” Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba wrote on Twitter. “The Nepali Congress has lost an honest and faithful leader.”

A native of Kathmandu, Joshi started his political career as a student leader.

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He was elected the general secretary of Nepal Students’ Union, the student wing of the Nepali Congress, in 1986.

Joshi was elected deputy mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City in the first election of local bodies after the restoration of democracy in 1990, thereby becoming the youngest member ever to serve as an office bearer from 1992 to 1997 at the age of 27.

He is remembered for his contribution in working to preserve the cultural heritages of Kathmandu while trying to modernise the Capital city.

Joshi also served as the spokesperson of the Nepali Congress from 2008 to 2013.

He was elected to the Constituent Assembly in 2008 and 2013 from Kathmandu. In the 2017 parliamentary elections, he lost to CPN-UML candidate Jeewan Ram Shrestha in Kathmandu.

He served as industry minister from August 27, 2016 to September 11, 2017 in the Pushpa Kamal Dahal government formed as a coalition between the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) and the Nepali Congress.

During his tenure as the industry minister, he earned accolades for reviving the Nepal Drug Limited that produces cheap and affordable medicines like paracetamol.

“We were friends for three decades and I found him thoroughly gentle, kind and hardworking,” Ramhari Khatiwada, a Nepali Congress leader said, “When he was the industry minister, he organised the first ever investment summit in Nepal and tried to attract foreign investment in Nepal. The way he tried to revive the sick industry in Nepal was his other commendable job.”

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