Prachanda, Nepal’s most powerful politician who had waged a decade-long war against monarchy, is under fire for moving into a multi-crore mansion in the heart of Kathmandu, with the local media calling it an example of “red feudalism”.
The 1,500-sq metre property costing Rs 19.60 million (USD 2.31 million) is located half a kilometre from the Prime Minister’s official residence at Baluwatar, Rastrapati Bhawan and former King Gyanendra’s mansion Nirmal Niwas at Maharajgunj. It has a huge parking area and table tennis hall.
C P Gajurel, Secretary of UCPN-Maoist and its top hardline leader, admitted during an interview to the Kantipur Television that there is no transparency within the party, which has given rise to suspicion in the minds of the cadres.
The gap between the rich and the poor is growing within the Maoist party itself, Gajurel said, pointing to the growing rift between the hardliners and the establishment faction led by Prachanda and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.
Although the mansion was purchased in another person’s name, the real owner is Prachanda himself, claimed political analyst and editor of Janamanch weekly Pralhad Rijal.
Prachanda, who assumed power for a brief period of nine month in 2008 to work for the poor and proletariat class of the country, is now leading a luxurious and feudal life style in sharp contrast to his party’s ideology, he said.
He compared Prachanda’s life style with that of late leader of the Nepali Congress Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, who became Prime Minister after the 1990 People’s Revolution.
Bhattarai moved out of the Prime Minister’s residence with just a water jar, an umbrella and a small zinc suitcase, Rijal recalled.
When Prachanda moved from his old house at Nayabazaar on the outskirts of Kathmandu to the new building, around 10-12 vehicles were used to transfer his belongings, Rijal claimed. […]