Recorded message first, Nepal PM to follow

October 7th, 2011 - 1:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Oct 7 (IANS) Before he comes later this month, Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai sent a recorded message that was Friday played out during the golden jubilee celebrations of his alma mater, the Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA).

Unable to make it for the three-day golden jubilee celebrations of the CCA Oct 7-9 due to his political commitments back home, Bhattarai has promised to be here later this month when he comes on his first official visit to India as prime minister.

CCA’s invitation was delivered to him by his 1972-77 batchmate of the Bachelor of Architecture course, Gurnek Singh, in Kathmandu late last month. Bhattarai became Nepal’s prime minister just over a month back.

“He was thrilled to get the invitation when I met him at a common friend’s house in Kathmandu. He is the same simple and down to earth person,” Singh said here.

Praising the City Beautiful Chandigarh in his message, Bhattarai congratulated the CCA, which was established in 1961, on its golden jubilee.

“I had spent my formative years in the CCA campus and this college shaped my personality and outlook. I am proud of my alma mater and I wish luck to the students, staff and the college principal,” Bhattarai said in the recorded message.

He referred to Chandigarh as one of the “most beautiful” cities of the world.

Bhattarai had joined the Maoist leadership in Nepal and fought government troops there for nearly a decade before entering active politics. Central agencies had, at one time, come to the CCA to enquire about him when he was part of the Maoist movement in Nepal.

Bhattarai’s batchmates in the CCA recalled him as a “workaholic, studious and determined” student who “hardly showed any interest in politics”.

He had joined the CCA under the Colombo Plan scholarship programme, and used to live in a boys’ hostel here. He shared his room with another student from Nepal, Yogeshwar Prajuri.

He later went to Delhi’s School of Planning and Architecture for his Masters degree and did his doctorate from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

Chandigarh’s connection with a powerful personality in Nepal is not through Bhattarai alone.

Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav, who was sworn in July 2008, had done his post-graduation in internal medicine from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, in 1985.

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