Krishna (Prasad) Sitaula (in Nepali कृष्णप्रसाद सिटौला) is a senior Nepali politician belonging to the Nepali Congress Party. Krishna Sitaula played an important role in bringing Maoist rebels to peace negotiation process in 2006, thereby helping to end the decade long civil war in Nepal.
As of 2016, Sitaula serves as Nepali Congress’ General Secretary and is also a Member of Parliament (MP).
Sitaula has served as Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Interior Affairs and Minister for Supplies in the past. After the death of Nepali Congress’ President Mr. Sushil Koirala in February 2016, Sitaula announced his name for party presidency.
Early Life and Political Career
Krishna Sitaula was born in October 1949 in Sankranti VDC of Terhathum district as son of Ranga Prasad Sitaula (father) and Gaura Devi Sitaula (mother). Sitaula’s family later moved to Jhapa and he started his political career from the same district. He holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) and a Bachelor of Law (LLB) degrees from Tribhuvan University Nepal.
Early Life & Education
In national parliament elections of 1991 and 1194, Sitaula was defeated from Jhapa. In the 1999 general elections, Sitaula was elected as a Member of Parliament from Jhapa constituency 1 securing 17561 votes. In the historic 2008 Constituent Assembly elections Sitaula was again defeated from Jhapa-3 with him securing 14,049 votes. At the time of the 2008 CA elections, Sitaula was Nepal’s Home Minister.
However, in the second CA elections of 2013, Krishna Sitaula was elected from Jhapa-3 garnering 14,355 votes. His closest rival Rajendra Lingden of Rastriya Prajatantra Party received 9253 votes.
During the second CA term (2013-2015), Sitaula represented the Nepali Congress Party and took part in several high-level negotiation talks between major political parties.
Krishna Sitaula As a Successful Peace Negotiator
In May 2006, Krishna Sitaula led a team of peace negotiators representing the Government of Nepal and participated in peace negotiations with the Maoist rebels. The other two negotiators representing the government were Pradeep Gyawali and Ramesh Lekhak. Sitaula has been credited for his resilient diplomatic skills and astute political tactics that ultimately brought back Nepal’s derailed peace process into track and led to end of the decade long civil war.
During the peace negotiation process, Krishna Sitaula was often been accused of being too close to the rebels and of being too flexible. Accusation mostly came from within the party, mainly from his political competitors such as Sujata Koirala. Nonetheless, he traveled to remote areas of the country to meet with Maoist leaders and on one occasion airlifted two top Maoist leaders, Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) and Baburam Bhattarai to Kathmandu for conclusive peace negotiations. Though criticised within the party, Sitaula’s actions during the peace negotiation process was praised by many Nepali people and by the Nepali media.
Personal Life & Spiritual Influences
Krishna Sitaula is married to Kabita Sitaula (married since 1979) and has one son and two daughters with her. Sitaula is a devoted follower of Indian spiritual guru/swami Sree Sree Thakur Anukulchandra and travels to India nearly every year to see him. Sitaula is also a vegetarian and do not even eat garlic and onion. His wife Kabita said in an interview with Ratopati Online that Sitaula used to be a chain-smoker, but has quit smoking for more than three decades. Reportedly, he has never drunk alcohol. In the interview, Kabita portrays Sitaula as a peaceful, compassionate man that never gets angry or aggressive.