Contrary to communist ideology, the chairman of the 'proletariat' party Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' seems to believe in high living rather than high thinking. While his mentor Kiran Baidya lives in a rented room in Gongabu, Dahal recently moved from Nayabajar to a grand mansion with three living rooms, a library and a swimming pool in Lazimpat. Dahal who has no known sources of income, pays Rs 1,03,000 per month to house owner Shishu Bhandari who lives in Canada.
Prachanda has made an easy transition from the jungle to the mansion. When Prachanda and Baburam first appeared publicly in Baluwatar during the ceasefire they wore khaki shirts and trousers and it automatically became the 'proletariat' dress. But the khaki soon disappeared and Prachanda has not been seen in the dress since then.
When Dahal entered Baluwatar as the prime minister, people were shocked by his appearance. He was clean shaven, his hair was gelled and he looked as stylish as Girija Prasad Koirala or Jhalanath Khanal. He has danced with famous Nepali actress Rekha Thapa, likes to stay in fancy resorts for extended periods of time during party meetings, political negotiations and personal holidays and is also known to enjoy liquor. In fact Prachanda is deemed responsible for introducing the culture of drinking within the Maoist circle who were once vehemently opposed to alcohol.
However, his fondness for the finer things in life was apparent from his 'revolutionary' days. While Central Committee member Post Bahadur Bogati made do with an ordinary bamboo stick (pictured above), Prachanda can be seen with a high-end professional walking stick.
Baidya supporters are angered by the chairman's extravagant lifestyle, and say he has betrayed his cadres by selfishly climbing the social ladder. However, as long as he is powerful and influential, Prachanda seems least bothered about what others think of him.