Pushpa Kamal Dahal, 53, popularly known as Prachanda, is the leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) or CPN.
Prachanda was brought up in Nepal’s Chitwan district and was born in 1954.
Born into a high-caste but poor farming family, Prachanda was driven to politics by the extreme poverty he witnessed in rural Nepal.
His interest grew in the communist groups that emerged in Nepal during the late 1960s after the king (Gyanendra’s father) banned political parties.
In 1986, Prachanda became general secretary of the CPN.
He also led the People’s Liberation Army, the military wing of CPN. Prachanda launched CPN’s Nepalese People’s War on February 13, 1996, which killed thousands of Nepalis.
In 1990, he went undergound and pursued a decade of armed struggle.
He announced a ceasefire and signed up to peace in 2006, that lasted 90 days.
He has had trouble losing his image as a man of war.
His immediate family members are active in Maoist politics, with his wife and daughter holding seats in the constituent assembly.
Now the most powerful man in Nepal, he is set to lead a new government.