New Delhi/Kathmandu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday telephoned Prachanda, who was today elected by Nepal`s Parliament as the Himalayan nation`s new PM, and congratulated him.
Prachanda, who led a decade-long insurgency that topped a feudal monarchy, was elected as the Nepal PM a week after KP Oli stepped down to avoid a no-confidence motion.
The Indian PM also assured his Nepalese counterpart of full support and invited him to visit his country.
Spoke to Nepal's PM-elect Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' ji & congratulated him. Assured him of our full support & invited him to India.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 3, 2016
Nepal has long been mired in political instability and Prachanda, 61, becomes its 24th prime minister since protests led to the establishment of a multi-party democracy in 1990. He has served once before, after winning power in 2008.
Prachanda, whose real name in Pushpa Kamal Dahal, won 363 votes of the 573 votes cast in the 595-member Parliament. Lawmakers draped Buddhist prayer scarves around his neck after he was elected unopposed.
"I will work for national unity, to promote the interest of the country and its people," the bespectacled leader had told lawmakers earlier.
The return of Prachanda, who still uses his nom de guerre, which means "fierce", but has lost his former Robin Hood image, is unlikely to end the revolving-door politics that has sapped business confidence in one of the world`s poorest countries.
Prachanda`s confirmation became possible with the support of Parliament`s biggest party, the centrist Nepali Congress, and several smaller parties. The Maoists are the third biggest group in the legislature.
Under a widely reported power-sharing deal, Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba is expected to take over from Prachanda before Nepal holds a general election at the beginning of 2018. Party officials have declined to comment.
The two leaders make for a disparate combination.