Media slams ‘red feudalism’ of Prachanda
Kathmandu: 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.
It was not surprising to learn that Prachanda has moved
into such a lavish mansion in the capital's prime location, as
his party had accumulated huge wealth through various means
during and after the conflict, a leading daily here, charged.
Prachanda's new residence is an example of red feudalism
flourishing in Nepal, it said.
He is one of the richest leaders in South Asia though he
belongs to one of the poorest countries in the world, it said further.
Prachanda, 58, who had waged a war against monarchy that
left over 16,000 people dead, is heading a party that claims
to work for the poor and deprived people. He does not need to
show the income source for acquiring such a huge building as
there is no transparency in the Maoist party, the daily said.
The news about Prachanda moving into the lavish building
has come out at a time when the government has introduced a
regulation to keep 140 categories of information secret, it is being
said, alleging that both the Maoist-led government and the
Maoist party are functioning in a non-transparent way.
CP Gajurel, Secretary of UCPN-Maoist and its top
hardline leader, admitted during an interview to a TV channel 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.