Kaski, August 16:

Eighty-one-year-old Debaki Dahal of Dhikurpokhari-2 in Kaski district was elated when she heard the news that Prachanda had been elected the first Prime Minister of Federal Republic of Nepal.

“My happiness knew no bounds when I came to know about the election of Prachanda as the PM,” the elated aunt of the Maoist chairman said, adding, “I was worried thinking I would breathe my last without witnessing this day.”

“Prachanda was born in a cowshed five kilometres from our house in Dhukurpokhari-7 54 years ago. At the time of birth, I had speculated that Prachanda would hold a high post,” she said.

“Worried that efforts may be made to stop him from becoming the Prime Minister, we were hooked to the radio and television channels for two days,” she said.

Prachanda’s family migrated to Chitwan when he was nine. The Maoist chairman began his studies in Dhukurpokhari-based Mahendra Primary School. Prachanda’s sister Himkala, who used to take him to school, said, “My brother will work to fulfil aspirations of the people.”

Remembering the days when the army used to keep vigil on his family members, Tanka (14), son of Prachanda’s brother, said, “The army men used to keep a watch in our house, hoping that the Maoists would visit our house for food.”

“I am very happy to hear about the election of uncle Prachanda as the PM of new Nepal,” he said, adding,”He should try to win hearts and minds of the people.”

“I joined the Maoists because of Prachanda,” Kul Prasad Dahal, uncle of the Maoist chairman, said.

Saying that the army had searched his house several times during the decade-long conflict, he said, “My daughters burnt down all Maoist related papers and books.”

“As Prachanda is the son of a poor family, he will work for the poor,” Kul Prasad said, urging the new Prime Minister to work for freedom, establishment of lasting peace and economic growth.