PM congratulates Bhattarai, invites him to India

Conveying his “warmest felicitations” to Bhattarai, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wished “him all success in the task of consolidating the democratic gains made by the people of Nepal,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement Monday.

"India remains committed to providing all assistance in building a more stable, democratic and prosperous Nepal, which will add to the security and prosperity of the region,” said the ministry.

Manmohan Singh also extended an invitation to Bhattarai to visit India, adding that he looked forward to working with the latter to “strengthen and deepen the close civilisational and fraternal links” between India and Nepal. The dates will be decided through diplomatic channels.

Considered a moderate face in the Maoist party, 57-year-old India-educated Bhattarai, who has a doctorate from New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, became Nepal's 35th prime minister after polling 340 votes Sunday, defeating Nepali Congress candidate Ram Chandra Poudel who obtained 235 votes. He was sworn in Monday by President Ram Baran Yadav.

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