KATHMANDU – CPN (UML) leader Astha Laxmi Shakya has gone down in history as a first woman chief minister in the country. On Wednesday, she was appointed as Chief Minister of Bagmati Province after outgoing CM Dormani Poudel resigned.
Poudel’s resignation followed political developments caused by the promulgation of an ordinance to amend Political Parties Act-2017 on the recommendation of the government led by Sher Bahadur Deuba. The ordinance aimed to make it easier for political parties to split.
Later on Wednesday evening, the province chief Bishnu Prasad Prasain administered the oath of office and secrecy to Shakya amid a function at the office of the Province Chief. Born in Kathmandu in 2010 BS on Asthami (eighth day of 15-day Dashain) and raised in a Newar community, 68-year-old Shakya has spent most of her life in politics. Established herself as an ‘ascetic leader’, she has already served as an industry minister and a minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare.
She was elected to a member of the Province Assembly in the 2074 elections from Kathmandu constituency 8 (B). Elected as a member of the House of Representatives from Kathmandu in 2056 BS, she spent around four decades of her life in active politics. She invested in full-time politics since 2036 BS.
She faced many ups and downs in her political career. She was arrested from Ilam in 2045 BS when she had gone underground for ‘political changes’. She is second eldest among eight children in her family.
She was revolutionary too. Despite caste-based differences, she from a Newari community married a man from another community. She tied the knot with now CPN (UML) leader Amrit Kumar Bohara in 2038 BS. They have a son and a daughter. They knew each other while they involved in ‘underground politics’.
She was a SLC graduate in 2028 BS. Shortly after she took a Chinese class when she said she was inspired to join politics. She pursued higher education at Ratna Rajya Campus and did her intermediate in arts.