23rd Manmohan Adhikari Memorial Day

Why remember Nepal’s first communist Prime Minister Manmohan Adhikari?

KATHMANDU: The 23rd Memorial Day of Manmohan Adhikari, the first Communist Prime Minister of South Asia and the first Chairman of the CPN-UML, is being commemorated today without any special function being organized due to the COVID pandemic. 

UML Central Office Secretary Sher Bahadur Tamang told Nepal Press that no public program was organized on Memorial Day due to the difficulties of the current situation. 

On the occasion of Manmohan Memorial Day, UML General Secretary and Chairman of the Manmohan Memorial Foundation Ishwor Pokharel will lay a wreath at Manmohan’s statue in Sanepa, said Deputy Personal Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister Dipendra Shrestha. 

Adhikari, who was born in 1977 BS, passed away on 13th Baisakh 2056 BS. Adhikari, who is contesting from Kathmandu Constituency No. 1 and 3 in the 2056 CA election, had suffered a heart attack in Gothatar during the election campaign. 

The officer died at the teaching hospital while undergoing treatment. After Adhikari’s death, Pradip Nepal from Kathmandu-1 and Ishwar Pokharel from Kathmandu-3 were elected as UML candidates.

Adhikari was the General Secretary elected from the first General Convention of the Communist Party of Nepal held in 2010 BS. Adhikari, the first generation leader of the communist movement in Nepal, was also a top figure in the democratic movement.

In 2047 BS, the then CPN (UML) led by Madan Bhandari and the then CPN (Marxist) led by Manmohan Adhikari merged to form the present CPN (UML).

Manmohan Adhikari was the first UML president. After the UML became the largest party with 88 seats in the 2051 election, Manmohan Adhikari became the first communist prime minister not only in Nepal but also in South Asia.

Adhikari is always remembered for the popular work done by the UML government during the nine months of his leadership. The government led by Adhikari had started the old age allowance from Rs 100 for the first time in the history of Nepal when there was a public outcry that if a communist government is formed, people over 60 years of age will be killed.

No government since then has been able to remove the social security and public welfare programs, including the senior citizen allowance, which were started when Manmohan was the Prime Minister and his brother Bharat Mohan was the Finance Minister. 

The UML’s senior citizen allowance, which started from Rs 100, has now reached Rs 3,000 and the Prime Minister and UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli has announced to increase it to Rs 5,000 within five years..

The old-age allowance, ‘Let’s build our own village’, the budget allocation of Rs 300,000 in each village and other public welfare works were started when Manmohan was the Prime Minister.

After the then Nepali Congress, RPP and Sadbhawana Party brought a no-confidence motion against the Adhikari-led government, he dissolved the House of Representatives and announced midterm elections.

However, the House of Representatives was re-established by the decision of the Supreme Court on12th Bhadra 2052. The decision of 12th Bhadra was controversial until much later.

Meanwhile, the officer had faced a no-confidence motion while he was in the ICU of the hospital after the helicopter crashed.

Nepal’s first elected Prime Minister and founder of the Nepali Congress, BP Koirala, and Adhikari are related. Three members of the Koirala family and four officials from the family of father Krishna Prasad Koirala became the Prime Minister of Nepal.

Adhikari is the first Prime Minister of Nepal to propose a review of the 1950 unequal treaty to his Indian counterpart, PV Narasimha Rao, during his visit to India. 

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