Nepalese PM to first visit India in Feb

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:00 pm IST

Published - January 06, 2016 07:23 pm IST - Kathmandu

K.P. Sharma Oli, Prime Minister of Nepal. File photo: V.V.Krishnan

K.P. Sharma Oli, Prime Minister of Nepal. File photo: V.V.Krishnan

Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli will travel to New Delhi early next month on his first official foreign visit, his close aide said today, scotching speculation that the Communist leader would visit China ahead of India.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa made the announcement, saying some agreements would also be signed with India to implement past understandings during his visit, amid hiccups in Indo-Nepal ties over the Madhesi issue.

Madhesis, largely of Indian-origin, are agitating over the new Constitution demanding more representation. They are also protesting division of their ancestral homeland under the seven-province structure and have led an ongoing blockade of key border trade points with India.

“We have very important and cordial relations with India. The preliminary preparations for the visit have been completed. India will be the first country for the PM to pay an official visit after assuming the office,” Mr. Thapa said.

He said Mr. Oli will leave for India on an appropriate time as the preliminary preparations have been completed.

The visit is expected to take place in the first week of February, sources told PTI.

Earlier, it was reported that CPN-UML leader Mr. Oli, who took over as prime minister in October, was planning to visit China in a marked contrast to the usual practice of the new prime ministers of Nepal to travel to India. Most of the Nepalese premiers have visited India, ahead of China.

Only Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ had rubbed India the wrong way when he chose China as the first destination of his foreign visit after taking over as Nepal’s prime minister and attended the Beijing Olympics 2008.

India had announced Rs. 1,000 crore financial assistance in the form of soft loan to Nepal during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal last year and an equal amount of assistance was announced during External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s trip after the devastating earthquake.

India has also announced to convert part of the assistance to be provided to Nepal as grant.

When Prime Minister Modi had called Mr. Oli to extend congratulations upon his election to the top executive post he had also invited him to visit India.

Mr. Modi had reiterated his invitation to Mr. Oli during a telephone conversation between the two leaders last week.

Mr. Thapa said that Chinese government has also extended invitation to the Prime Minister for an official visit.

Nepal wants to maintain cordial relationship with both the neighbours, he pointed out.

“The Indian prime minister during his visit to Nepal earlier had pledged support for the country,” Mr. Thapa recalled adding that “these support should also be implemented.”

“PM Oli’s visit will make necessary arrangement for the implementation too,” he pointed out.

Replying to a question, Mr. Thapa said that the ongoing blockade on Nepal’s southern border will end soon.

All other border points except Raxaul-Birgun point have already been open and cargo vehicles are freely moving from these entry points, he said.

However, for reopening Raxaul-Birgunj border point, the government is working towards a negotiated settlement with the Madhes based parties through constitutional amendment.

The government has floated a four-point agenda to address the 11 demands of the agitating Madhesi parties, he said.

The issues relating to proportionate representation and allocation of Parliament seats on the basis of population will be addressed through the Constitution Amendment Bill tabled in the Parliament and the issue relating to provincial boundary demarcation will be dealt with through forming a high-level political committee, he added.

The citizenship and all other issues will be addressed through negotiation with the Madhesi parties, he said.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.