• Tuesday, May 30, 2023


Nepal PM Prachanda likely to visit India in April: report

Indian PM Narendra Modi (R) shakes hands with Nepali premier Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” in New Delhi on September 16, 2016. (Photo by PRAKASH SINGH/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

Nepali prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ is likely to travel to India on an official visit in April — his first overseas trip after taking over the office for the third time last December, a media report said on Thursday (16).

While the official date of the visit is yet to be announced, it was learnt that Prachanda’s visit will feature talks with Indian leaders to boost bilateral ties and trade, energy, agriculture, culture and air service.

Sources close to the 68-year-old prime minister said that his visit to India in the near future is in the cards and the date would be fixed once he gets a vote of confidence from Nepal’s House of Representatives.

“The visit will take place after the PM seeks a vote of confidence and expands his cabinet,” a source said.

Earlier, Prachanda had announced that he would visit India on his first foreign trip after assuming the post.

The prime minister is seeking a vote of confidence in the parliament on March 20.

“The ministry of foreign affairs has started preparations for the visit,” The Kathmandu Post newspaper of Nepal reported.

The ministry has started groundwork for the purpose and meetings are being organised with the line ministries to prepare the agenda, the daily reported, quoting an official at the ministry.

Mid-April will be the tentative date for the Nepali prime minister to embark for the official visit, said the paper.

In July last year, Prachanda visited India at the invitation of JP Nadda, the national president of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Apart from Nadda, the Nepali leader had at the time met India’s external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and national security advisor Ajit Doval.

Prachanda was sworn in as the prime minister for the third time on December 26 last year after he dramatically walked out of the pre-poll alliance led by the Nepali Congress and joined hands with opposition leader K P Sharma Oli.

However, their alliance ended after the Maoist leader decided to support senior Nepali Congress (NC) candidate Ram Chandra Poudel for the president’s post.

With the support from the NC and the eighty-party alliance, the Prachanda-led government is expected to comfortably survive the vote of confidence in the Nepali parliament.

(With PTI inputs)

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