KATHMANDU, May 6 - Chairman of Unified CPN (Maoist) Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who resigned as prime minister on Tuesday after serving for 263 days in government, seemed a lot more relaxed but his day was not less hectic. Dahal was busy holding consultations with senior Maoist leaders mostly on telephone.
As prime minister, he used to start his day at 6:00 a.m. He would hold meetings with political party leaders and other concerned people in the government till 9:00 p.m. and the last two weeks were the busiest, as developments unfolded rapidly after the government move seeking clarification from Army Chief Rookmangud Katawal.
According to an official with the prime minister’s official residence, Dahal woke up at 5:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. Unlike on previous days, he did not meet any political party leader till 8:00 a.m. Dahal met former Environment Minister Ganesh Sah at 8: 00 a.m for 20 minutes.
Sah was quite surprised to find the parking lot in front of the prime minister’s residence deserted. Sah, who is also a good friend of Dahal, was called upstairs to a meeting hall next to Dahal’s bedroom.
Dahal sat on a tall chair reading a newspaper. He was still in his pajama suit at 8:00 a.m. In all previous meetings he used to wear a shirt, trousers and a sleeveless jacket.
Sah found the latter very relaxed. “He looked so relieved,” said Sah.
Discussing Monday's address to the nation and the political turn of events over a cup of tea, Sah said he felt Dahal was hurt by CPN-UML’s betrayal as much of the discussion revolved around UML's withdrawal of support. Dahal expressed doubt that a new coalition government with UML and Nepali Congress would be formed.
According to his aide at Baluwatar, most political party leaders expressed desire to meet Dahal on Tuesday but he declined to see anybody. “He spent most of his time with his family today,” said an aide.
Dahal's escorts too were relaxed as he did not venture out. According to an official at Baluwatar, Dahal had gone out at least three to five times a day last week.
Dahal who earlier used to be busy from 1:00 p.m. till 3:00 p.m. in his office at Singhadurbar, met Inspector General of Police of Nepal Police Ramesh Chand Thakuri at 1:00 p.m. for less than an hour and discussed ‘general politics’.