- May 4, 2009
Prachanda homes in on luxury mansion, sparks row - Indian Express
Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', Nepal's Maoist leader with a well-documented weakness for capitalist luxuries, has triggered a new debate in the local media with an allegedly questionable acquisition of a new, ultra plush home in the heart of Kathmandu.
Prachanda's new home in Lazimpat has separate residence and office wings set in a sprawling compound with a swimming pool and a badminton court. The residence mansion is reserved for the family, while the office wing — a large, 15-room building — is meant for his secretarial and security staff.
Prachanda's son Prakash has described the home as rented on Facebook, and said his father moved because of security reasons. His earlier home, also rented, was "not suited to a man of Prachanda's stature", Prakash said. The new home has parking space for about 10 vehicles at a time. Prachanda's next-door neighbour is retired general Shanta Kumar Malla, a former ADC to King Birendra.
Family sources said Prachanda was paying a monthly rent of Rs 60,000, but his nephew Sameer Dahal, while claiming that a five-year rental agreement had been signed, said the rent was yet to be decided. The daily Nagarik said the rent was Rs 1,03,000 per month.
The weekly tabloid Sanghu made a different, startling claim: that Prachanda has actually bought the house for Rs 100.2 million, a price much lower than that prevalent in the area.
Prachanda has been seen wearing luxury Rado watches and designer suits, and has been known to lay claim to horses and SUVs — yet, the unclear source of funds for his new home has troubled party leaders and workers.