Pushpa Kamal Dahal
पुष्पकमल दाहाल
Dahal in 2016
33rd Prime Minister of Nepal
Assumed office
26 December 2022
Preceded bySher Bahadur Deuba
In office
4 August 2016 – 7 June 2017
PresidentBidya Devi Bhandari
Preceded byKhadga Prasad Oli
Succeeded bySher Bahadur Deuba
In office
15 August 2008 – 25 May 2009
PresidentRam Baran Yadav
DeputyBamdev Gautam
Preceded byGirija Prasad Koirala
Succeeded byMadhav Kumar Nepal
Senior party positions
Chairman of the CPN (Maoist Centre)
Assumed office
8 March 2021
Preceded byPosition re-established
In office
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished[a]
Chairman of the Nepal Communist Party
In office
17 May 2018 – 8 March 2021
Serving with KP Sharma Oli
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Parliamentary offices
Member of Parliament, Pratinidhi Sabha
Assumed office
22 December 2022
Preceded byBaburam Bhattarai
ConstituencyGorkha 2
In office
4 March 2018 – 18 September 2022
Preceded byKrishna Bhakta Pokharel
Succeeded byBikram Pandey
ConstituencyChitwan 3
Member of the Constituent Assembly / Legislature Parliament
In office
21 January 2014 – 14 October 2017
Preceded byMahendra Paswan
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
ConstituencySiraha 5
In office
28 May 2008 – 28 May 2012
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byRajendra Kumar KC
ConstituencyKathmandu 10
Personal details
Ghanashyam Dahal

(1954-12-11) 11 December 1954 (age 69)
Lewade, Dhikur Pokhari VDC, Pokhara, Nepal
Political partyCPN (Maoist Centre) (1994–2018; 2021–present)
Other political
SpouseSita Poudel (died 2023)
Children4, including Renu
Alma materInstitute of Agriculture and Animal Science,Tribhuvan University
Websitecmprachanda.com Edit this at Wikidata

Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Nepali: पुष्पकमल दाहाल; born Ghanashyam Dahal, 11 December 1954), alias Prachanda (Nepali: प्रचण्ड, pronounced [prʌˈt͡sʌɳɖʌ], transl. "fierce"), is a Nepalese politician currently serving as the Prime Minister of Nepal.[1] He previously held the prime ministerial post from 2008 to 2009 as the first prime minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, and again from 2016 to 2017.[2] He was elected as prime minister for the third time in 2022, following that year's elections.

Dahal was born in Lewade, Dhikur Pokhari, a VDC 20 KM north from Pokhara, and spent most of his childhood in Chitwan, where he received a diploma of science in agriculture from Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS) in Rampur, Chitwan. He joined left-wing political parties after seeing severe poverty in his youth. In 1981, he joined the Communist Party of Nepal (Fourth Convention), and later became general secretary of the Communist Party of Nepal (Mashal) in 1989. This party later became the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Dahal was the leader of the CPN(M) during the country's civil war and subsequent peace process and the 1st Nepalese constituent assembly. In the 2008 elections, CPN(M) emerged as the largest party, and Dahal became prime minister in August of that year.[3] He resigned from the post on 4 May 2009, after his attempt to sack the then army chief, General Rookmangud Katawal, was opposed by then President Ram Baran Yadav.[4]

Dahal was sworn in as prime minister for the second time in 2016, as per an agreement to form a rotational government by Congress and CPN (Maoist Centre).[5] He resigned from the post of prime minister on 24 May 2017.[6] Following the 2022 Nepalese general election, with an alliance with political parties including CPN (UML), Rastriya Swatantra Party and Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Dahal was sworn in as Prime Minister once again in 2022.[7]

Early life

He was born Ghanashyam Dahal on 11 December 1954 in Lewade, Dhikur Pokhari, a VDC 20 KM north from Pokhara, to Muktiram and Bhawani, a Brahmin Hindu family.[8][9] He later changed his name during a matriculation examination to Pushpa Kamal (meaning: Lotus Flower).[10][11][12] At the age of eight, his family migrated to Terai, a fertile lowland region in southern Nepal, and settled in Chitwan District.[9] In the 1950s, his father Muktiram moved to Indian state of Assam, where he worked as a firewood collector, and returned home in 1961.[9] In 1971, Pushpa Kamal Dahal moved to Kathmandu for his studies, and was enrolled in Patan Multiple Campus for two years.[9] He moved back to Chitwan and received a diploma of science in agriculture from Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS) in Rampur, Chitwan.[13][14] After completing studies and failing to find jobs in bureaucracy, Dahal became a schoolteacher in a village, where he worked until 1979. He was also a home teacher at the same village.[9]

Dahal became drawn to far-left political parties after seeing severe poverty in his youth.[14] He joined the Communist Party of Nepal (Fourth Convention) in 1981.[15] He became general secretary of the Communist Party of Nepal (Mashal) in 1989, this party, later, became the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).[16] Dahal was underground, even after the restoration of democracy in 1990.[16] Not yet widely known, he controlled the clandestine wing of the party, while Baburam Bhattarai represented the United People's Front in parliament.[16]

Nepalese Civil War

See also: Nepalese Civil War

Dahal speaking at a rally in Pokhara.

On 4 February 1996, Baburam Bhattarai gave the government, led by Nepali Congress Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, a list of 40 demands, threatening civil war if they were not met.[17] The demands related to "nationalism, democracy, and livelihood" and included such line items as the "domination of foreign capital in Nepali industries, business and finance should be stopped", and "discriminatory treaties, including the 1950 Nepal-India Treaty, should be abrogated", and "land under the control of the feudal system should be confiscated and distributed to the landless and the homeless."[17][18] After that, and until 26 April 2006, Dahal directed the military efforts of the CPN (Maoist Centre) towards establishing areas of control, particularly in the mountainous regions and in western Nepal.[19] The 40 demands were whittled down to 24 in subsequent political negotiations.[19] In late 2004 or early 2005, relations between Dahal and Baburam Bhattarai soured.[20] This was reportedly due to disagreement on power-sharing inside the party. Bhattarai was unhappy with the consolidation of power under Dahal.[21] At one point, Dahal expelled Bhattarai from the party, though he was later reinstated.[21] They later reconciled at least some of their differences.[22][23] On 22 November 2005, Dahal and the Seven Party Alliance released a 'twelve-point agreement' that expressed areas of agreement between the CPN(M) and the parties that had won a large majority in the last parliamentary election in 1999.[24] Among other points, this document stated that the dictatorial monarchy of King Gyanendra was the chief impediment to progress in Nepal.[24] It claimed further that the Maoists were committed to human rights and press freedoms and a multi-party system of government.[24] It pledged self-criticism and the intention of the Maoists and the Seven Parties to not repeat past mistakes.[24]

On 26 April 2006, CPN (Maoist Centre) announced a ceasefire with a stated duration of 90 days.[25] The move followed weeks of massive protests—the April 2006 Nepalese general strike— in Kathmandu and elsewhere that had forced King Gyanendra to give up the personal dictatorship he had established on 1 February 2005, and restore the parliament that had been dissolved in May 2002.[25] A new government was then established by the Seven-Party Alliance. The parliament and the new government supported the ceasefire and started negotiations with the Maoists on the basis of the twelve-point agreement. The two sides agreed that a new constituent assembly would be elected to write a new constitution and decide the fate of the monarchy. The Maoists wanted this process to end with Nepal becoming declared as a republic.[25]


Dahal (third from left), Baburam Bhattarai (fourth from left)

First premiership

See also: First Dahal cabinet

Dahal met for talks with Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on 16 June 2006, which was thought to be his first visit to the capital Kathmandu in more than a decade.[26][27] This meeting resulted in the Comprehensive Peace Accord to dissolve parliament, incorporate the CPN(M) into a new interim government, draft a new constitution, and disband the CPN(M)'s "people's governments" operating in rural Nepal. The two sides also agreed to disarm at a later date, under international supervision.[28] On 18 September 2007, the CPN(M) left the coalition government ahead of the Constituent Assembly election, demanding the declaration of a republic by parliament, and a system of proportional representation in the election. The CPN(M) rejoined the government on 30 December 2007, after an agreement to abolish the monarchy following the election, and to have a system of partial proportional representation in the election.[29] Following power-sharing discussions that lasted several months, Dahal was elected as prime minister by the Constituent Assembly on 15 August 2008, and he was sworn in as prime minister on 18 August 2008.[30]

The decade-long war ultimately led the Maoists to Nepal's parliament. After winning a remarkable majority in the Constitutional Assembly elections, Dahal was nominated for the Prime Ministership by the party.[31] In the April 2008 Constituent Assembly election, he was elected from Kathmandu constituency-10, winning by a large margin, and receiving nearly twice as many votes as his nearest rival, the candidate of the Nepali Congress. He also won overwhelmingly in Rolpa constituency-2, receiving 34,230 votes against 6,029 for Shanta Kumar Oli of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), CPN(UML).[32] With the CPN(M) appearing to have won the election, Dahal pledged that the party would work together with other parties in crafting the new constitution, and he assured the international community, particularly India and China, that the party wanted good relations and co-operation. He also said that the party had expressed its commitment to multi-party democracy through the election.[33]

Second premiership

See also: Second Dahal cabinet

In August 2016 Pushpa Kamal Dahal was elected for a second stint as Prime Minister of Nepal.[34] Dahal became the 24th prime minister since Nepal's adoption of multi-party democracy in 1990 and the eighth since the abolition of the monarchy in 2008.[35] He resigned from the post of prime minister on 24 May 2017 and was succeeded by Sher Bahadur Deuba of the Nepali Congress in June.[36][37]

Third premiership

See also: Dahal cabinet, 2022

Pushpa Kamal Dahal was appointed prime minister for the third time on 25 December 2022, following the 2022 Nepalese general election.[38] He won the vote of confidence in the House on 10 January 2023 after 268 out of the present 270 members voted in favor of him.[39]

Dahal condemned the actions of Hamas during the 2023 Israel–Hamas war,[40] but also expressed support for Palestine and spoke in favor of a ceasefire, saying "we support the oppressed, those who deserve independence. We support Palestine".[41]

On 4 March 2024, Dahal ended his coalition with the Nepali Congress and formed a new coalition with the CPN(UML) and other smaller parties.[42]

Personal life

In 1969 Pushpa Kamal Dahal married Sita Poudel (5 July 1954 – 12 July 2023)[43][44] when he was fifteen.[9] They have three daughters (including Renu Dahal) and a son.[9]

In keeping with Marxist ideology, Dahal is an atheist, having stopped practicing Hinduism in his teenage years.[45]


  1. ^ Party merged with CPN (UML) to form NCP



  1. ^ "Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' becomes Nepal's new PM". The Indian Express. 25 December 2022. Retrieved 24 January 2023.
  2. ^ "Dahal elected 39th prime minister of Nepal". kathmandupost.com. Retrieved 24 January 2023.
  3. ^ "IPU PARLINE database: NEPAL (Sambidhan Sabha) ELECTIONS IN 2008". archive.ipu.org. Retrieved 13 January 2023.
  4. ^ "कटवालको आत्मकथा पढ्दा". Setopati. Retrieved 13 January 2023.
  5. ^ "Dahal elected 39th prime minister of Nepal". kathmandupost.com. Retrieved 13 January 2023.
  6. ^ "Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' Resigns As Nepal Prime Minister". NDTV.com. Retrieved 13 January 2023.
  7. ^ "Dahal sworn in as prime minister". kathmandupost.com. Retrieved 13 January 2023.
  8. ^ "Prachanda elected Prime Minister of Nepal". The Hindu. 16 August 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Guneratne, Arjun; Weiss, Anita M. (19 December 2013). Pathways to Power: The Domestic Politics of South Asia. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 306–320. ISBN 978-1-4422-2599-2.
  10. ^ "Profile: Prachanda, from commander to prime minister." Chinaview.cn, 15 August 2008
  11. ^ Nepali PM Prachanda Sworn In. English.cri.cn. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  12. ^ "It will be nostalgia time for Prachanda in India". Archived from the original on 17 June 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2015.. news.indiainfo.com. 13 September 2008
  13. ^ Somini Sengupta, and he was also a high school teacher in Aarught of Gorkha district."Where Maoists Still Matter", The New York Times, 30 October 2005.
  14. ^ a b Adhikari, Aditya (7 October 2014). The Bullet and the Ballot Box: The Story of Nepal's Maoist Revolution. Verso Books. pp. 5–10. ISBN 978-1-78168-564-8.
  15. ^ [1] Archived 3 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ a b c Mahendra Lawoti and Anup K. Pahadi, ed. (2010). The Maoist Insurgency in Nepal: Revolution in the twenty-first century. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-77717-9.
  17. ^ a b DeVotta, Neil (23 October 2015). An Introduction to South Asian Politics. Routledge. p. 119. ISBN 978-1-317-36973-8.
  18. ^ Baburam Bhattarai, "40 Point Demand", South Asia Intelligence Review, 4 February 1996
  19. ^ a b "Maoists Demand Interim Constitution," Archived 27 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine Kathmandu Post, 28 April 2003
  20. ^ Singh Khadka, "Nepal's Maoist leadership divisions", BBC News, 6 May 2005.
  21. ^ a b "Official expelled from Maoist party". Television New Zealand. 15 March 2005. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  22. ^ Charles Haviland, "Meeting Nepal's Maoist leader", BBC News, 16 June 2005.
  23. ^ Sanjay Upadhya, "Nepal: Maoists hide more than they reveal", Scoop, 16 February 2005.
  24. ^ a b c d Unofficial translation, "The 12-point agreement between the Maoists and the seven-party alliance as listed in statement by Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Tuesday," Archived 29 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine Nepal News, 25 November 2005
  25. ^ a b c "Nepal Maoist rebels declare truce," BBC, 27 April 2006
  26. ^ "Maoists to join Nepal government," BBC, 16 June 2006
  27. ^ "Power Play," Archived 12 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine The Times of India 3 November 2001
  28. ^ Maseeh Rahman, "After a decade of fighting, Nepal's Maoist rebels embrace government," The Guardian, 17 June 2006
  29. ^ "Nepal Maoists rejoin cabinet after monarchy deal," Reuters, 30 December 2007
  30. ^ "PM Dahal sworn in"[permanent dead link], Nepalnews, 18 August 2008.
  31. ^ "Nepal Maoists want their chief as president", Reuters (AlertNet), 25 January 2008.
  32. ^ "Prachanda wins from Rolpa-2 as well"[permanent dead link], Nepalnews, 13 April 2008.
  33. ^ "'We want to continue working with parties and the int'l community,' says Prachanda."[permanent dead link], Nepalnews, 12 April 2008.
  34. ^ Chaudhury, Dipanjan Roy (4 August 2016). "New PM Prachanda will bring Indo-Nepal ties back on track, hopes India". The Economic Times.
  35. ^ "Maoist chief Prachanda elected as Nepal prime minister". The Times of India. Reuters. 3 August 2016.
  36. ^ "Nepalese PM announces resignation – Xinhua | English.news.cn". Archived from the original on 24 May 2017.
  37. ^ "Prachanda resigns as Nepal Prime Minister making way for Sher Bahadur Deuba to take over". 24 May 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  38. ^ "President Bhandari appoints Dahal as new PM, swearing-in on Monday". The Himalayan Times. 25 December 2022. Retrieved 25 December 2022.
  39. ^ "Nepal's new PM secures vote of confidence in parliament". The Himalayan Times. Associated Press. 10 January 2023. Retrieved 10 January 2023.
  40. ^ "Nepal PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal condemns Hamas terror attacks in Israel". ANI. 8 October 2023.
  41. ^ "Nepal supports Palestinian cause, Dahal tells Russian news agency TASS". kathmandupost.com. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  42. ^ "Nepal's communist parties join forces to form a new coalition government". Associated Press. Retrieved 4 March 2024.
  43. ^ "PM Dahal's wife Sita passes away".
  44. ^ "Sita: A guiding force in the political journey of PM Dahal".
  45. ^ Ghimire, Yubaraj (6 October 2009). "Atheist Prachanda Attends Prayers". The Indian Express. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
Party political offices Preceded byMohan Vaidya Leader of the Communist Party-Mashal 1986–1991 Succeeded byNarayan Kaji Shresthaas Leader of the Communist Party-Unity Centre New office Leader of the Communist Party-Maoist Centre 1994–present Incumbent Political offices Preceded byGirija Prasad Koirala Prime Minister of Nepal 2008–2009 Succeeded byMadhav Kumar Nepal Preceded byKhadga Prasad Oli Prime Minister of Nepal 2016–2017 Succeeded bySher Bahadur Deuba Preceded bySher Bahadur Deuba Prime Minister of Nepal 2022–present Incumbent