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Former Nepal PM Kirti Nidhi Bista passes away

Kirti Nidhi Bista

Kathmandu, Nov 12 (UITV/IANS) - Nepal's three-time Prime Minister Kirti Nidhi Bista passed away on Saturday at the age of 90, the state-owned Nepal Television said.

The veteran politician breathed his last in his residence at Gyaneswor in the capital after a prolonged battle with cancer.

Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and senior politicians have expressed deep sorrow at the passing of the former Prime Minister, Xinhua news agency reported.

"I'm deeply saddened at the passing away of Kirti Nidhi Bista. He was an epitome of simplicity and integrity, and will always be remembered as a great soul. My heart goes out to his bereaved family," Deuba tweeted.

Bista served as Prime Minister from 1969 to 1970, 1971 to 1973 and 1977 to 1979 during the party-less Panchayat system under two monarchs -- King Mahendra and King Birendra.

Later in 2005, he served as the Vice Chairman of the government under the direct regime led by King Gyanendra.

A non-corrupt, candid and nationalist politician, Bista began his political career in 1949 and was one of the confidants of late King Mahendra of Nepal.

Final rites of the former Prime Minister were performed at the Pashupati Aryaghat in Kathmandu later on Saturday. Bista is survived by two sons and three daughters.