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Maoist chief Prachanda takes over as Nepal PM: Wins clear majority, Modi invites him to India

Says chosen by history to work for country; major parties sign three-point agreement promising resolution to Madhesi issues

Written by Yubaraj Ghimire | Kathmandu | Updated: August 4, 2016 12:57 am
prachanda, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, nepal, nepal prime minister, nepal om, kp oli, communist party nepal, PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, in Kathmandu. (Source: Reuters)

Maoist Chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal was on Wednesday elected Prime Minister of Nepal, the eighth in as many years, making a come back to the post after a gap of over seven years.

A clear majority — 363 in favour and 210 against — brought to an end the latest round of transition following the resignation by K P Oli last week, just before facing a trial of strength in the House that he was sure to lose. Dahal — who said he would maintain balanced relations with the two neighbours, India and China — was greeted soon after his election by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, extending an invitation for an official visit soon. Chinese ambassador Wu Chuntai presented Dahal with a bouquet, assuring continued support and good will.

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari will be administering oath of office and secrecy to Dahal on Thursday. As negotiation among the major constituents — Maoists, Nepali Congress and Madhes centric Parties — continued over cabinet formation, there are indications that a small-sized cabinet with representation from all the parties may take place Thursday, and is likely to be expanded soon.

Dahal said he would continue to further the understandings and agreements that his predecessor Oli had signed with China, and maintain a balanced approach with both neighbours. As a balancing act, he may be undertaking his first official visit to India, in the near future. Speaking in favour of his motion that he be elected Prime Minister in the Parliament, Dahal said “as some one who raised guns, I feel I am the person that history has moved forward to work for this country.” Just before the parliament took up the election, leaders of the three parties — Maoists, Nepali Congress and Madhesi groups — signed a three-point agreement promising that the issues of Madhesis would be addressed with utmost sincerity, taking all sides together, and through constitutional amendment wherever necessary. But the votes that he secured on Wednesday does not guarantee a two third majority, something required for the amendment.

His takeover comes after a bitter fall-out between the two coalition partners in the previous government, led by Oli who vacated the official residence of the Prime Minister. In fact, his exit took place in a much grander way than his entry there nine months ago. Addressing his followers at his private residence, Oli said he transformed Nepal’s problems that came with being landlocked into a situation where it does not have to depend on one country alone. Oli was referring to the trade and transit agreement that he recently signed with China in the aftermath of a border blockade by India for five months since September last year.

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Speaking to his supporters in response to criticism from different parties for his “unrealistic dream”, he said “I am not one who enjoys the death of a dream or attends its funeral procession. I believe in translating dream into reality,” said Oli. “When I took over, Nepal’s relationship with India was at its lowest ebb, but that is almost back on track now through diplomatic efforts,” he added.

He said the change of Prime Minister in a parliamentary democracy is not unusual, “but history will judge my exit the way it has happened.” The Nepali Congress, the largest party in Parliament will be the coalition partner in the Dahal-led cabinet.

Madhesi parties will not join the new government but will extend support from outside, a top Madhesi leader said

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  1. B
    Mar 21, 2017 at 5:40 am
    Let me introduce my self first i am a Nepali patriot and have great love and admiration of my motherland Nepal. lt;br/gt;Poverty has dramatically increased in Nepal and the infrastructure of the capital is a joke . Brahmin have turned this beautiful country into a country even worse than somalia . Food prices are at an all time high. Transportation cost are sky rocketting everyday. The roads are dusty and pots are everywhere. Why do i blame the Brahmins because all the government positions are held by these leaches and vermins who steal and rape the coffers of Nepal. These Brahmins have no love for their motherland Nepal . And these Brahmins are willing to rape their mother (Nepal) and sell its daughters to the brothels in India for a quick buck. It is sad to accuse one race for so much turmoil and underdevelopment but that is the reality . These plagued race of Brahmins need to be wiped out from Nepal for good . Then only we will see a utopian Nepal .
    1. I
      Indralal Modi
      Aug 3, 2016 at 5:20 pm
      Madhesi Nepalis are natural alliance of socialist congress. so elected their communist prachanda backed up by congress. Now china won't be able to play in Nepal targeting India.
      1. S
        Satendra kumar
        Aug 3, 2016 at 11:57 am
        Prachanda elected as Nepals Prime Minister should make viable decision about the availability of reforming Nepals consitution also implementing laws for rehabilitation programs for redevelopment after Nepals earthquake.Focusing on economic and social development for Nepalese.
        1. A
          Amar Akbar
          Aug 4, 2016 at 1:17 am
          Last time when UPA was in power Sonia and CPM were together to break the country and Prachanda didnt care for India. He went to China for his first trip and what did Maun Singh do? Nothing. India was not even respected by Nepal. Not any more. This time Prachanda made sure he got a first call from Modiji and his first trip will be to India. That is what a friend does. India calling and Nepal coming shows that we are made for each other. In Maun Singh's time that was never understood by Sonia as she was a white supremacist Italian Christian Spy whose main goal was to break India into pieces which the British Christian missionaries could not do in 200 years.
          1. F
            Aug 4, 2016 at 1:19 am
            You are wrong as usual since you are a pretending to be Indian. We know what Nepal wants with India and we know what India wants with Nepal. You can now go back to your Koran in your madrasa.
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