Girija Koirala has always been known as someone who makes decisions in haste and regrets them later. Whether as a prime minister, party president or political worker, Koirala has always made controversial decisions, and many of his political moves have been outrageous. Manohari Baral, a close friend of Koirala who struggled with him through the Rana and Panchayat regimes, says that the Koirala family doesn't know who really looks out for them. Loyal supporters were kicked out of the Koirala house, while selfish and disreputable people came as they wished.
Close family friend Bhimraj Naulakha says that when Koirala became prime minister in 1991, he was surrounded by small group of cunning politicians who encouraged him to make decisions that made him very unpopular. He was literally trapped. "Koirala was never able to form a good team and failed to advance his party and lead the country well," says Naulakha.
The reason he has backing in the party is because he fights hard for his party and the movement, and he can impress anyone. For example, it's difficult to keep up with Koirala. Not even his deteriorating health has slowed him down. He remains patient, confident, and hopeful, no matter how difficult the political situation. Koirala is also praised for his simplicity, cheerfulness, friendliness and generosity. He didn't change even when his health worsened, which earned him more friends.
Koirala's lifestyle has never changed much. Since he gave up his favourite western-style suits and ties, he has always worn a white homespun kurtha pyjama with a coat. He still uses his favourite fragrances, Evening in Paris and Kanta. Koirala is non-vegetarian, he relishes mutton and chicken, and is also fond of eating vegetables from his own kitchen garden. He enjoys tea and drinks six-seven glasses a day, and takes a glass of milk every morning. Koirala used to smoke 60-70 cigarettes a day, especially after the death of his beloved wife Sushma, but has recently quit on the advice of his doctor. He still drinks a couple of pegs of whisky.
Koirala is quite passionate about photography - in the early days he made a special trip to Calcutta to buy equipment, and mostly photographed his wife. He has an interesting quirk that still endures - he makes sure that anyone who takes his picture sends him a copy.