India, US hail Prachanda’s victory

August 15th, 2008 - 10:03 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, Aug 15 (IANS) Within minutes of Maoist supremo Prachanda winning Nepal’s first prime ministerial election by a thumping victory, congratulations poured in from India and the US, the two countries the Maoists have been accusing of trying to prevent them from coming to power. While it had taken India several days to congratulate Nepal’s first president Ram Baran Yadav after his electon last month, despite his heavy engagements on India’s 62nd Independence Day, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent a lightning message of congratulations to Prachanda, inviting him to New Delhi.

“On behalf of the government and the people of India, and on my own behalf, please accept my felicitations and congratulations on your election as prime minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal,” Singh’s message said.

“I look forward to working with you to further develop the bonds of good neighbourliness that unite our peoples and nations, and to deepen the friendly relations that so happily exist between our two countries. We in south Asia share linked destinies, and are engaged in a common struggle against poverty, disease and hunger. India will continue to stand by the people and government of Nepal in consolidating your peaceful democratic transition and in your developmental efforts.

Singh said that he also looked forward to meeting Prachanda in the near future and would be happy to receive him in New Delhi as India’s state guest at his earliest convenience.

The US, which still considers the Maoists as a terrorist organisation, sent a message comgratulating “Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal”.

“We hope that election of the prime minister removes the last barrier to speedy formation of a government, constructive action on key issues facing Nepal, and a start on the difficult but necessary task of drafting Nepal’s new constitution,” the unsigned statement issued by the American Embassy in Kathmandu said.

“The United States will continue its strong support for peace, democracy, human rights and development in Nepal. We look forward to working with the new government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal and building upon the historic ties between our peoples,” it added.

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