Baburam Bhattarai

Dr Baburam Bhattarai is the 36th and current Prime Minister of Nepal since August 2011.

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Dr. Baburam Bhattarai (born 18 June 1954)[1] is the 36th and current Prime Minister of Nepal since August 2011. He is a senior Standing Committee Member and vice chairperson of Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). His party started a revolutionary People's War in Nepal in 1996 that ultimately led to the change of the political system in Nepal. The decade long civil war transformed Nepal from a monarchy into a republic. He was elected to the Constituent Assembly from Gorkha in 2008 and became Finance Minister in the cabinet formed after the election.[2]

Maoist insurrection

Prachanda speaking at a rally in Pokhara.

On 4 February 1996, 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. 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" (referring here to the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship), and "land under the control of the feudal system should be confiscated and distributed to the landless and the homeless."[3] After that, and until 26 April 2006, the guerilla leader Prachanda directed the military efforts of the CPN (M) towards establishing areas of control, particularly in the mountainous regions and western Nepal.

The 40 demands were whittled down to 24 in subsequent political negotiations.[4]

Relation with Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda)

Bhattarai with Prachanda and other Maoist leaders

In late 2004 or early 2005, the relations between Prachanda and Bhattarai cooled down.[5] This was reportedly due to disagreement on power sharing inside the party. Bhattarai was unhappy with the consolidation of power under Prachanda. At one point, Prachanda expelled Bhattarai from the party, though he was later reinstated.[6] They later reconciled at least some of their differences.[7][8]

Twelve point agreement

On 22 November 2005, Prachanda and the Seven Party Alliance released a "twelve-point agreement" that expressed areas of agreement between the CPN(M) and the parties that won a large majority in the last parliamentary election in 1999. Among other points, this document stated that a dictatorial monarchy of King Gyanendra is the chief impediment to progress in Nepal. It claimed further that the Maoists are committed to human rights and press freedoms and a multi-party system of government. It pledged self-criticism and the intention of the Maoists and the Seven Parties to not repeat past mistakes.[9]


Several ceasefires have occurred over the course of the Nepalese civil war.[10] Most recently, on 26 April 2006, Prachanda announced a ceasefire with a stated duration of 90 days. 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 the February 1, 2005, and restore the parliament that was dissolved in May 2002.

After that a new government was 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 will be elected to write a new constitution, and decide on the fate of monarchy. The Maoists want this process to end with Nepal becoming a republic.[11]

Personal life

Baburam Bhattarai was born in a village called Belbas in Khoplang VDC of Gorkha District. He was born in a low-middle class peasant family. He has three siblings: one elder sister, one younger sister and one younger brother.

He completed his secondary school education from Amar Jyoti High School in Luintel, Gorkha. In the School leaving Certificate (SLC) of 1970 AD, he topped the exam in Nepal. He went to high school at Amrit Science College and repeated the same feat and topped the board again.[12] After that under the Colombo plan scholarship, he studied Bachelor of Architecture in 1977 from Chandigarh.[13] “He had been an outstanding student,” says Lieut-Col I.J.S. Bakshi (retd), Principal of the college.[14] It was during this time he became the founding President of All India Nepalese Student's Association. This organization ended up becoming his first step towards building his academic interests outside the field of architecture.

Bhattarai went to the Delhi School of Planning and Architecture for an M.Tech degree. He is married to Hisila Yami,a fellow maoist leader. They have a daughter, Manushi.

Dr. Bhattarai being greeted with flowers after being elected Prime Minister on 28 August 2011.

He completed his PhD degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi)in 1986.[15] His Ph.D. thesis was later published as a book "The Nature of Underdevelopment and Regional Structure of Nepal- A Marxist Analysis".


Bhattarai has contributed a number of published works, including The Nature of Underdevelopment and Regional structure of Nepal: A Marxist Analysis (Adroit Publishers, Delhi, 2003) which is a cursory rewriting of his PhD thesis. Other works include Politico-Economic Rationale of People's War in Nepal (Utprerak Publications, Kathmandu, 1998), and Nepal! krantika adharharu (in Nepali) (Janadisha Publications, 2004). His books and articles have had some impact on Nepalis both home and abroad, though primarily only on those who share his political beliefs . Among his many well read newspaper articles is "Let’s Give No Legitimacy to the Beneficiaries of the New Kot Massacre"[16] written in the aftermath of Palace Massacre of 2001. Similarly, it is widely believed that he is the principal author of the most successful Election Manifesto brought out by Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) in March 2008 in preparation of the Constituent Assembly Election held in April 2008.[17]


  1. "शब्दचित्रमा बाबुराम भट्टराई".
  2. Dr Baburam Bhattarai
  3. Baburam Bhattarai, "40 Point Demand", South Asia Intelligence Review, 4 February 1996
  4. "Maoists Demand Interim Constitution," Kathmandu Post, 28 April 2003
  5. Singh Khadka, "Nepal's Maoist leadership divisions," BBC, 6 May 2005
  6. Official expelled from Maoist party. (2005-03-15).
  7. Charles Haviland, "Meeting Nepal's Maoist leader", BBC, 16 June 2005
  8. Sanjay Upadhya, Nepal: Maoists hide More Than They Reveal", Scoop (2006-02-16).
  9. Unofficial translation, "The 12-point agreement between the Maoists and the seven-party alliance as listed in statement by Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Tuesday," Nepal News (2005-11-25).
  10. Kamala Sarup (ed.), "Maoists declare three-month long ceasefire," Peace Journalism/Nepal News, (2005-09-03).
  11. "Nepal Maoist rebels declare truce," BBC (2006-04-27).
  12. "Always first Baburam Bhattarai, first in politics too". ekantipur. 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2011-08-29.
  13. "Nepal’s Geography of Underdevelopment". Richard peet. Retrieved 2007–11.
  14. The Tribune, Chandigarh, India -Main News. (2001-06-10). Retrieved on 2012-06-03.
  15. Shrishti R L Rana Bhattarai at JNU- a vignette. (2006-03-29)
  16. Monthly Review June 2001 | Commentary. (2012-05-17). Retrieved on 2012-06-03.
  17. CFFN – Historic Documents – CA Manifestos – CPNM(Maoists) – 2008 March.