Timeline of Democratic transition (1951-1960) & Panchayati System (1960-1990)

This article primarily covers the Democratic transition (1951-1990) and Panchayati era (1960-1990) in Nepal. For era after this click : Timeline of Nepal (1990-present).


1939: Nepal's first political party "Nepal Prajaparishad" formed to revolt against Rana dynasty in Nepal by Tanka Prasad Acharya, Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Dashrath Chand, Sukra Raj Shastri, Gangalal Shrestha, Chudaprasad Sharma, Govinda Prasad Upadhya(Poudyal), Puskar Nath Upreti, Mukunda Nath Rimal, Bal Bahadur Pandey, Druba Prasad Dawade, Fadindra Nath Satyal, Hari Krishna Shrestha, Chakra Bahadur Khatri etc.

1940 Oct: Rana government arrested almost all members of the PrajaParishad.

1941 Jan 19: Rana government declared death penalty against Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Dashrath Chand, Sukra Raj Shastri and Gangalal Shrestha and jail sentences to many members. And after this PrajaParishad was effectively dissolved.

1946 Jan 25-26: "Nepali National Congress" was founded in Bhawanipur, India. Imprisoned Tanka Prasad Acharya (from Nepal Prajaparishad) elected as president and B. P. Koirala elected as acting-president.

1947 Jun 11: First ever election in Nepal held by Rana regime as in all 21 wards of Kathmandu municipality. Total 68,118 male above 21 years were eligible to vote.

1947 March 13: National Congress started nationwide demostration against Rana regime.

1947 March: BP Koirala & Girija P Koirala arrested while entering Nepal.

1948 Jan 16: Rana PM Padma Shamsher promulgated the first constitution of Nepal which would implement from 1948 Apr 1.

1948 Apr 30: Mohan Shamsher became new Rana PM as Padma Shamsher resigned.

1948 May 1: Mohan Shamsher banned new constitution and National Congress.

1948 Aug 4: "Nepali Democratic Congress" founded by Mahendra Bikram Shah.

1948 Nov: BP Koirala again arrested in Kathmandu.

1949 Sep 15: Communist Party of Nepal founded in Culcutta, India. This is the party which majority of 10+ present communist parties in Nepal claim origin from. Founding General secretory was Puspalal Shrestha and members were Nar Bahadur Karmacharya, Niranjan Govinda Baidhya and Narayan Bilas Joshi.

1950 Apr 9: "Nepali Congress" party founded merging Nepali National Congress and Nepali Democratic Congress parties. Martika Prasad Koirala became first president of the party.

1950 Sep 27/28: Convention of Nepali Congress.

1950 Nov 6: King Tribhuvan took refuse in the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and Nepali Congress announced armed revolution in Nepal.

1950 Nov 7: PM Mohan Shamsher appointed Gyanendra as King.

1950 Nov 10: King Tribhuvan flown to Delhi with family.

1950 Nov 11-12: Congress's Mukti Sena captured Birgunj and established provisional government headed by Tej Bahadur Amatya.
1950 Nov 12: Mukti sena captured Udayapur Gadhi.
1950 Nov 13: Mukti sena led by KI Singh attacked Bhairabha.
1950 Nov 16: Mukti sena captured Rangeli.
1950 Nov 19: Mukti sena captured Haraicha.
1950 Nov 20: KI singh attacked Bhairaba second time. Gov forces recaptured Birgunj.
1950 Nov 24: Indian PM Nehru started mediation in the conflict.
1950 Dec 10-11: Mukti sena captured Dingla & Khotang.
1950 Dec 11: Mukti sena attacked Biratnagar and captured in Dec 23 and started provisional governemt in Dec 24 headed by KP Koirala.
1950 Dec 14: Mukti sena captured Jhapa.

1951 Jan 16: Nepali Congress agreed on ceasefire as requested by Nehru in Jan 10 but KI Singh continued.

1951 Feb 12: India mediated formal peace agreement between King, Rana & Nepali Congress known as "Delhi Accord".

1951 Feb 15: King Tribhuvan and major leaders of Nepali Congress returned from India after Delhi Agreement with Rana Regime. This day (Falgun 7, 2007) is/was marked as Democracy day in Nepal.




1951 Feb 18: Rana-Congress government formed. Mohan Shamsher continued as PM. Other ministers were: From Rana side Baber Shamsher JBR (Defence), Chudraj Shamsher (Forests), Nripa Jang Rana (Education), Yagya Bahadur Basnyat (Health) and from congress side: Subarna Shamsher (Finance), B.P. Koirala (Home), Ganesh Man Singh (Commerce and Industry), Bharatmani Sharma (Food and Agriculture) and Bhadrakali Mishra (Transport).

1951 Feb 21: Indian armed force intervened in support of the government. KI Singh and 100 rebels were captured.

1951 Apr 9: Bir Gorkha Dal led by Randhir Subba and Bharat Shamsher revolt against the new government.

1951 Apr 15 : government banned Veer Gorkha Dal.

1951 Apr 16: King Tribhuvan stripped PM Mohan Shamer from his position as supreme commander of Nepal Army.

1951 May 10-16: India mediated another negotiation between King, Rana and NC who agreed to established the 40 member advisory assembly.



1951 June 10: Rana PM Mohan shamsher formed another government with Nepali congress.

1951 Nov 6: Government fired on student protestors in Kathmandu.

1951 Nov 10: NC members resigned from the government.

1951 Nov 12: Rana PM Mohan Shamsher also resigned from the government.


1951 Nov 16: Matrika Prasad Koirala became the first commoner PM of Nepal after the end of Rana regime.

1951 Dec 14: Mohan Shumsher, Last Rana PM, went into self-imposed exile in India.

1952 Jan 22-24: Government troops suppressed a rebellion led by K. I. Singh in Kathmandu

1952 Jan 23: King Tribhuvan declared stated of emergency.

1952 Jan 25: Government banned Communist party of Nepal and Rastriya Mahasabha after Raksha Dal revolt.

1952 Feb 27: India sent 200 military personal in the name of assisting the government which stayed until 1970 Aug 18.

1952 May 26: BP Koirala became second president of the Nepali Congress Party.

1952 July 4: 40-member Advisory Assembly convened in Kathmandu.

1952 July 25: Accused of violating party principles and acting against the constitution, NC expelled PM Matrika P Koirala.

1952 Aug 6: PM MP Koirala resigned.



1952 Aug 10: King Tribhuvan took control of the government.

1952 Sep 4: King Tribhubana dissolved the Advisory Assembly.

1953 June: MP Koirala established National Democratic Party.



1953 Jun 15: Matrika Prasad Koirala became PM. (2nd term) 

1953 Sep 2: Second Kathmandu Municipal election held. Wards were reduced from 21 to 18. Sadhana devi became first elected women representative from ward no 8. Candidates of the banned CPN won some 50 percent of the vote.  Indian troops intervened in support of the government.

1954 Jan 30: First party congress of CPN held in Patan secretly while still being banned for 9 days. Manmohan Adhikari elected as the General Secretory. (link)

1954 May 28: 112-member Advisory Assembly convened in Kathmandu.

1955 Jan 10: NC launched a civil disobedience movement

1955 Jan 31: PM Koirala resined but The Royal Council of State refused to accept the resignation. King Tribhubana dissolved the Royal Council of State on February 18 and vested royal powers in Crown Prince Mahendra Bir Bikram.

1955 Mar 2: Prince Mahendra accepted the resignation of PM.

1955 Mar 13: King Tribhuvan died. King Mahendra ascended the throne of Nepal.


1955 Apr 14: Direct rule by King Mahendra removing PM Matrika P Koirala. 


1955 Jul 10: King Mahendra dissolved Advisory Assembly.

1956 Jan 24-25: Sixth National Convention of Nepali congress held in Birgunj. Subarna Shumshere elected as the President. 

1956: Political relation between China and Soviet Union started to break on the definition of Marxism-Leninism which affected CPN.

1956 Sep 28: 8th convention of CP of China. Manmohan Adhikari attended representing CPN. Keshar Jung Rayamajhi took acting-general secretary during his visit.




1956 Jan 27: Tanka Prasad Acharya as PM by the King.
1956 Apr: Ban lifted on Communist Party of Nepal.
1957 Feb 25-28: Chinese PM Zhou Enlai visited Nepal
1957 May 23: BP Koirala elected as the president of Nepali Congress.
1957 Jul 13: Tanka Prasad Acharya resigned as PM.



1957 Jul 27: Dr. KI Singh as PM by the King.

1957 Aug 9: NC, NNC, and PP formed the Democratic Front (DF).

1957 Sep 30: government announced the postponement of the national elections which were scheduled for October 8.

1957 May 28-Jun 7: Second National congress held of CPN. Soft-liner & pro-soviet Keshar Jung Rayamajhi elected as the General Secretary. Manmohan Adhikari could not attend as he was taking medical treatment in China. Mohan Bikram Singh elected as the central committee member.


1957 Nov 14: King Mahendra took direct control of the govt as KI Singh resigned as PM.

1957 Dec 7:  Democratic Front (DF) launched a civil disobedience campaign in protest of the postponement of the national elections.

1958 Feb 1: King Mahendra formed a  government composed of representatives of the DF and NC ended its civil disobedience campaign on Feb 4.



1958 May 15: Suberna Shamsher, Nepali Congress leader, appointed as PM by the King.


1959 Feb 12 (2015 Falgun 1 B.S.): King Mahendra promulgated the new constitution which had provisioned 109-member lower house and 36-member upper house.

1959 Feb 18-Apr 3: First ever democratic election for parliament held in Nepal. Nepali Congress became the largest party winning over 2/3 seats (74 among total 109). (see elected members)

1959 Mar 30: The 14th Dalai Lama entered India from North east and established government of Tibet in exile in Apr 28 in Dharmasala, India (west of Nepal).

1959 May 4: Suberna Shamsher resigned as PM.


1959 May 27: BP Koirala became first elected Prime Minister of Nepal.

1960 Apr 27-30: King Mahendra visited USA & Canada. (link) Addressed US congress in Apr 28.

1960 May 7-13: Seventh National Convention of Nepali Congress held at Kathmandu. Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala as president.

1960 Sep 22: PM Koirala visited USA to attend UN general assembly.
1960: USSR President Marshal Voroshilov visited Nepal
1960: Chinese PM Zhou En-lai visited Nepal for second time.




1960 Dec 15 (B.S. 2017 Poush 1): King Mahendra dissolved the parliament, suspended the constitution, and imprisoned the PM BP Koirala and other leaders.

1960 Dec 26: King Mahendra appointed a council of 5 ministers to help run the administration. Tulsi Giri as PM (1st term)
1961 Jan: UK Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited Nepal.
1961 Dec: Nepali congress started armed revolution. 
1962 May (2019 Jeth BS): Election of City-panchayat, Jilla-Panchayat and Anchal-panchayat one after another.
1962 Mar 20 (2018 Chaitra 7): Gram Panchayat (local level) election in 3439 villages. 
1962 Apr 13 (B.S. 2019 Baisakh 1): King Mahendra laid the foundation stone of Mahendra Highway in Gaidakot, Nawalparasi. 
1962 Oct 20-Nov 21: Indo-China war.
1962 Nov 8: Nepali congress called off the armed insurrection and adopted peaceful means for struggle amid Indo-China war.

1962 Dec 16 (B.S. 2019 Paush 1) : King Mahendra promulgated the new Constitution of Nepal (नेपालको संविधान २०१९). The new constitution created 4-tire Panchayeti System (पञ्चायत): Village/Town Panchayat, District Panchayat, Zonal Assembly & National panchayat.




1963 Dec 23: Surya Bahadur Thapa as PM (1st term)




1964 Feb 26: Tulsi Giri as PM (2nd term)
1964 Apr 13:(2021 Baisakh 1-Jeth 15): mid-term election in 3543 village panchayat.




1965 Jan 26: Surya Bahadur Thapa as PM (2nd term)
1967: Back to the Village National Campaign (Gaau Farka, गाउँ फर्क राष्ट्रिय अभियान) was implemented until 1975.
1967 Oct 30-Dec 3: King Mahendra visited USA. 
1968 Oct 30: BP Koirala and many other leaders released from the prison. BP went to India.



1969 Apr 7: Kirti Nidhi Bista as PM. (1st term)
1969: Indian PM Indira Gandhi imposed economic blockade to Nepal. Nepal asked 18 Indian Army checkposts and liaison groups be withdrawn from Nepal asap. 




1970 Apr 13: Gehendra Bahadur Rajbhandari as acting PM.
1970 June 18: All checkeposts of Indian army removed from Nepal.

1971: First Election of National Panchayet held.  Total 125 members; out of them 16 were appointed by the King, 90 were elected by Zonal Assemblies, 15 were elected by class organizations and 4 were elected by the collage graduates. Ram Raja Prasad Singh won from graduate seat. But as a reformist Singh was arrested before the sworn in ceremony. 
1971 Aug 26: Ram Raja Prasad Singh was given royal pardon, then he took the oath of 




1971 Apr 14: Kirti Nidhi Bista as PM (2nd term)
1971 Jun 27: Prince Dipendra, son of then Crown Prince Birendra, born
1971 Nov 1: New National Education System (राष्ट्रिय शिक्षा पद्धतिको योजना २०२८) implemented.  Two districts Chitwan and Kaski was selected for the first phase.

1972 Jan 31: King Mahendra died. Birendra became the new King of Nepal.

1972 Aug 24: BP Koirala started armed revolution against the Panchayati System from India.
1972 Oct: Surya Bahadur Thapa arrested.
1972-1974(BS 2028-2030): Jhapa Andolan (झापा आन्दोलन).
1973 March 4 (2029 Falgun 21): 5 leaders of Jhapa Andolan killed in Sukhani Jungle during their transfer from Chandragadhi Jail to Ilam Jail. KP Oli government declared them as martyr in 2016 March 2 after 43 years.




1973 Jul 16: Nagendra Prasad Rijal as PM
1975 Feb 24: Coronation of King Birendra. He presented the proposal to recognize Nepal as a zone of peace. Eventually recognized by 116 countries except India.
1975 April: Kingdom of Sikkim was annexed by India.




1975 Dec 1: Tulsi Giri as PM (3rd term)
2032 BS: Election of village, city and district panchayats held.
1976 June: King Birendra visited China. Chine supported Nepal's zone of peace proposal.

1976 Dec 30: (BS 2033 Paush 16) BP Koirala returned Nepal adopting Rastriya Melmilap Niti and arrested.




1977 Sep 12: Kirti Nidhi Bista as PM (3rd term).
1978 Dec 26: (2035 Push 11) CPN (ML) founded by CP Mainali, Madhab K Nepal, Ramchandra Yadav, Amrit Bohora, Jhalnath Khanal, Mukunda Neupane, Manilal Rai, Govinda Neupane, Jibraj Ashrit, Modnath Prashit, Madan Bhandari, Bamdev Gautam, Siddinath Gyawali, Netrala Abhagi, Basu Shakya etc. 


 Student Revolution of 1979/80 (छत्तिस सालको बिद्यार्थी आन्दोलन)
1979 Apr 6: Students protested against the execution of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, former PM of Pakistan. remembered as the start of Nepali Revolution of 1979/80.
1979 Apr 23: Ascol clash between police and students. 3 students killed.
1979 Apr 27: people in Hetauda kept a Minister hostage for 10 hours. Police responded, 3 to 17 peoples died. Next day many leaders arrested. BP Koirala was kept under house arrest.
1979 May 2: King Birendra formed 5 member commission to find the solution for the unrest.
1979 May 23: King Birendra made a public declaration for a referendum with secret vote.
1979 May 30: Surya Bahadur Thapa as PM (3rd term)

1980: Namita Sunita Kanda : School girls Namita Bhandari, Sunita Bhandari and Neera Parajuli, were raped and murdered in Pokhara, Nepal. The bodies of all three girls were found in the Gandaki River. The only witness Churamani Adhikari, employee of forest dept was taken to police station but next day he was found dead, later police decleare that as suicide. The Namita-Sunita case was closed inconclusively in 2003.  (L)

1980 May 2: Referendum (२०३६ सालको जनमत संग्रह) on non-partisan panchayat system or a multiparty system. The panchayat system received a slim majority of 54.8%. Voter turnout was 66.9%.




1980 June 1: Surya Bahadur Thapa became PM (3rd term)

1981 May 9:  Second Election of National Panchayat held. Political parties were still banned. In total 140 seats 28 were appointed by King and 112 were to be independently elected. Two pre-panchayat PM also contested. Matrika Prasad Koirala lost the election where K.I. Singh won. NC (Suberna) launched 36 candidates as independents winning by 4 candidates namely Dr. K.I. Singh, Bakhan Singh Gurung, Kashi Nath Gautam and Bhagwat Yadav. PM Thapa elected from Dhankuta but 70% of the candidate unofficially supported by the state lost the election. 

1981 May/June: Chinese PM Zhao Ziyang visited Nepal
1982 May 11 (Baisakh 28-Jeth 4 2039 BS): 4022 village, 29 city and 75 districts panchayat election held.
1982 Jun 16 (Asadh 2, 2039BS): District Panchayat election held.
1982 Jul 21: Leader of Nepali Congress and former PM BP Koirala died.




1983 Jul 12: Lokendra Bahadur Chand as PM (1st term)
1983 Dec 5-10: King Birendra visited USA. (link)
1984 March 19: Chinese President Li Xiannian visited Nepal.
1984 Oct 31: Indian PM Indira Gandhi assassinated. 
1985 May 23: Nepali congress started Civil Disobedience Movement (सत्याग्रह). More than 12000 party workers and sympathizers voluntarily went to jail for several months.
1985 June 20:  Blasts of 1985 (४२ साले बम काण्ड): series of coordinated bomb blasts occurred in Kathmandu and other cities in Nepal. 8 people incl 1 member of panchayati parliament killed. Ramraja Prasad Singh, leader of then Nepal Janabadi Morcha claimed the responsibility. Nepali Congress had to call off its disobedience movement after the blasts. 




1986 Mar 21: Nagendra Prasad Rijal as PM (2nd term)
1986: UK Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited Nepal
1986 May 12: Third Election of National panchayat held.  1,548 candidates ran as independents for 112 seats where as 28 were appointed by the king.




1986 Jun 15: Marich Man Singh Shrestha as PM
1987 Mar 21 & 24: (2043 Chaitra 7-10) Local election held in all 33 City & 4,015 Village Panchayats. (link)


Indian official blockade of Nepal in 1989/1990
1987 Dec: India warned Nepal not to purchase antiaircraft gun from China.
1988 March: Nepal made a deal to purchase Chinese weapons.

1988 July 22: Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi sent his foreign minister Natwar Singh to Nepal to urge not to purchase weapons again from China. King Birendra refused.
1988 Aug 21: 6.9 rector scaled earthquake hit Nepal. Over 700 killed.
1989 March 23: Nepal-India Trade and transit treaty expired. India refused to renew. Since then India officially imposed blockade in Nepal until Apr 1990.
1989 Apr, May: Nepal bought fuel from China.
1989 Oct 5: Nepali foreign minister Sailendra Kumar Upadhaya raised the issue of blockade in UN without mentioning India.
1989 Nov: Chinese PM Li Peng visited Nepal. In Kathmandu he said: "all countries, small or big, should be treated equally. Problems and disputes should be handled according to five principles of peaceful co-existence".


Revolution 1990 / People's Movement 1 (जनआन्दोलन भाग १)
1989 Sep: more than 900 Nepali Congress supporters were arrested.
1990 Jan 18: Nepali Congress called for a decisive movement for the restoration of democracy and welcomed other parties to join.
1990 Jan : seven communist parties formed a alliance to fight for democracy led by Sahana Pradhan.
1990 February 18 (Falgun 7, 2046 B.S.): Nation-wide Movement for Restoration of Democracy was started by Nepali Congress and Left front of seven Communist Parties led by CPN (ML).
1990 Apr 6: 50 pro-democracy demonstrators were killed in Kathmandu on a march to Royal Palace.
Lokendra Bahadur Chand as PM (2nd time) [13 days]

1990 Apr 6: King appointed Lokendra Bahadur Chand as PM (2nd time) [13 days]

1990 Apr 8: upraising organized by Nepali Congress and Left alliance became successful, King Birendra removed the 30 years ban on political parties. Panchayat System ended.
1990 Apr 15: Panchayat System was suspended.



1990 Apr 19: Krishna Prasad Bhattarai from Nepali Congress became PM
1990 Apr: India removed the 13 months blockade in Nepal.
1990 June: PM Bhattarai visited India and met Indian PM VP Singh. India removed the blockade.
1990 Dec 9 (B.S. 2047 Mangsir 23): King Birendra promulgated new constitution of Nepal. (नेपाल अधिराज्यको संविधान, २०४७)
1991 March: CPN (ML) and CPN (Marxist) united to form CPN (UML)
1991 May 12: First election after restoration of democracy. Nepali congress won majority (110 out of 205) seats. CPN UML got 69 seats where as future maoist party Samyukta Janamorcha became 3rd party winning 9 seats.
1993 Jan 27-Feb 2: 5th convention of CPN UML, party adopted People's Multi-party Democracy.



Key People

King Mahendra (1920 June 11 - 1972 Jan 31)
King Birendra (1945 Dec 29 - 2001 June 1)

BP Koirala (1914 Sep 8 - 1982 Jul 21) NC Leader
Ganeshman Singh (1915 Nov 9 - 1997 Sep 18) NC Leader
Tulsi Giri (b 1926 Sep 26 - present) PM
Kirtinidhi Bista (1927 Jan 15 - 2017 Nov 11) PM  
Nagendra Prasad Rijal  (1927 Apr 20 - 1994 Sep 23) PM

Surya Bahadur Thapa ( 1928 Mar 21- 2015 Apr 15) PM
Lokendra B Chand (1940 Feb 15 - present) PM
Marich Man Singh Shrestha (1942 Jan 1 -2013 Aug 15) PM

Ram Raja Prasad Singh (1936 - 2012 Sep 12)  key figure against Panchayati system.


References:-

http://uca.edu/politicalscience/dadm-project/asiapacific-region/nepal-1946-present/