Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai was on Sunday elected Nepals new Prime Minister defeating his Nepali Congress rival R.C. Poudyal, with the Terai-based Madhesi alliance extending crucial support to the former rebel leader. The 57-year-old Mr. Bhattarai, who has a PhD from New Delhis Jawaharlal Nehru University, polled 340 votes, while Nepali Congress Parliamentary Party leader Mr. Poudyal could secure 235 votes. The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), the alliance of Madhesi parties that has emerged as the fourth largest political force in the Assembly, decided to support Mr. Bhattarai. Most of the smaller fringe parties and the alliance of Madhesi parties supported Mr. Bhattarai, who was elected from the Constituency No. 2 of Gorkha with a landslide victory in 2008.