Kathmandu, Feb 15 (PTI) K P Sharma Oli, who joined politics as a student activist in his teenage and spent 14 years in jail for opposing the now-abolished monarchy, rose to become Nepal’s Prime Minster for a second time.

Known for his pro-China stance, 65-year-old Oli had earlier served as the country’s prime minister from 2015 to 2016 during which Kathmandu’s ties with New Delhi had strained.

Oli, who had publicly criticised New Delhi for interfering in Nepal’s internal matters and accused it of toppling his government, last month after his sweeping poll victory said his party would forge a partnership with India to move forward the country towards the path of economic prosperity.

In 2015, when Nepal adopted a new Constitution that split it into seven states, the ethnic Madhesi group, mostly of Indian-origin, protested for months, saying they were not getting enough territory in one of the provinces and were also facing discrimination. The issue had strained Indo-Nepal ties.

Born on February 22, 1952 at Terathum of Eastern Nepal district, Oli is the eldest child of Mohan Prasad and Madhumaya Oli. He was raised by his grandmother after his mother died of smallpox.

He left his school in Class 9th and joined politics. He, however, did Intermediate level in Arts from jail later.

His wife, Rachana Shakya, is also a communist activist and the two had met in the course of party activities.

Oli started his political career as a student activist in 1966 by joining the fight against autocratic Panchayat System under the direct rule of the King.

He joined the Communist Party of Nepal in February 1970 and got arrested for the first time in 1970.

Oli is one of the few political leaders of Nepal who spent several years in jail, He was imprisoned for 14 consecutive years from 1973 to 1987.

After his release from prison, he became a central committee member of UML in-charge of the Lumbini Zone until 1990.

Oli was elected as leader of the CPN-UML Parliamentary Party in the Second Constituent Assembly on February 4, 2014, defeating party chairman Jhala Nath Khanal.

He had served as deputy prime minister during the interim government led by Girija Prasad Koirala in 2006 after the successful conclusion of the second Peoples Movement.

He was elected as a member of Parliament in the House of Representatives for the first time from Jhapa district in 1991.

Oli had also served as the minister of home affairs in 1994–1995. He was re-elected to the House of Representatives from Jhapa electorate no 2 in 1999.

Oli won the recent parliamentary polls from the Jhapa-5 constituency by more than 28,000 votes.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.