KATHMANDU: Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, who was once touted as Maoist ideologue, has given up his nom de guerre 'Laaldhwoj', which he used in the Maoist party, from social media.
Bhattarai, who sports the biggest number of followers -- 473K till this afternoon -- on Twitter in Nepal , made an announcement today that he was changing his Twitter handle: @brb_laaldhwoj to @brb1954.
Bhattarai severed his ties with the then UCPN-Maoist in late September with an aim to build up a new political party, which has been named Naya Shakti Nepal. He later said he wanted to unlearn what he learned for 40 years [as a communist].
His former handle @brb_laaldhwoj, was a fusion of his official name's acronym and nom de guerre in the Maoist party, while 1954 in his new handle is the year of his birth. Laaldhwoj literally means 'red flag', with an implied meaning 'carrier of red flag'.
— Baburam Bhattarai (@brb1954) July 25, 2016
Bhattarai had headed the so-called people's government during Maoist insurgency, in which more than 17,000 people were killed. He was by and large known to the former rebel party's rank and file as Comrade Laaldhwoj.
He was strongly criticised by his former Maoist comrades for leaving the Maoist ideology and Communist movement, after he announced his divorce with the Maoist party.
Bhattarai had resorted to Twitter on January 20, 2013, when he was in the Office of the Prime Minister.
He became active on the microblogging site at the time his popularity had plunged after failing to hold the Constituent Assembly II elections, scheduled for November 22, 2012.
The then prime minister, however, succeeded in creating a buzz in the social media. He attracted a big number of followers in no time, notwithstanding titular interaction with others.
His posts on Twitter regularly hit headlines, and they continued to be cynosure of all news-hungry media eyes and social media users -- his critics or fans -- equally.