Former Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala passed away in the early hours of Tuesday. He succumbed to Pneumonia at 12:50 am, Koirala’s private secretary Atul Koirala said.

Koirala was suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Following the news of Koirala’s death, Kathmandu based Nepali Congress leaders rushed to his residence.

Koirala was not able to attend formal events on Monday.

Sushil Koirala was elected Prime Minister of Nepal on February 10, 2014. A devoted member of the Nepali Congress party of which he is currently president, Koirala once spent three years in an Indian prison for his involvement in the hijacking of a plane.

Nisha Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, U.S. Department of State sent out her condolences on twitter:

Koirala entered politics in 1954 inspired by the social-democratic ideals of the NC. He was in political exile in India for 16 years following the royal takeover of 1960. While in exile, Koirala was the editor of Tarun, the official party publication. He has been a member of the Central Working Committee of the party since 1979 and was appointed General Secretary of the party in 1996 and Vice President in 1998.

In 2001, he lost the contest for the NC Parliamentary Party leader to Sher Bahadur Deuba.

Koirala was appointed acting President of the party in 2008 by President Girija Prasad Koirala. On September 22, 2010, the 12th general convention of the NC elected him as party President.

The NC emerged as the largest party in the 2013 Constituent Assembly elections under Koirala’s leadership. He was elected leader of the NC Parliamentary party securing 105 out of 194 votes against former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s 89 votes.

Meanwhile, Nepali Congress postponed its electoral process prior to the General Convention, General Secretary Prakash Man Singh said.