Nepal’s Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and party colleague Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai are in a fresh controversy courtesy their children.
A cabinet decision to grant NRs2 crore (R1.25 crore) to Prachanda’s son Prakash, 30, and a team of Maoists to aid their Mount Everest expedition has dragged his father to the headlines.
Some suggested Prachanda had exerted pressure on Bhattarai to take the decision. Prakash told in an interview to Republica that the team had sought NRs3 crore (R1.87 crore) from the government.
“We are going to climb Mount Everest for the country and its people to ensure peace and new constitution,” he was quoted. His father has kept mum, for now. Faced with opposition from several quarters, Prakash on Sunday announced his decision not to take the grant.
Bhattarai, on the other hand, finds himself in a similar situation after his daughter Manushi was made a member of the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN). Manushi, a post-graduate student at Tribhuwan University, dismissed reports that she was named a CAN member on directions from Bhattarai. She plans to leave the sports body.
“A section is trying to create confusion and draw the PM into controversy by circulating a false report that I got appointed to CAN just because I am the PM’s daughter,” she said in a statement.
As leaders of the party heading the ruling coalition, both Prachanda and Bhattarai are already under pressure to conclude the peace process and deliver a new constitution by the May 28 deadline.
The Maoist chief was in the news recently for a palatial house that he shifted to. He is also facing flak from former Peoples’ Liberation Army combatants and the party’s youth wing over their rehabilitation.