India looking forward to Nepal President and PM's visit, says envoy

| Updated: Aug 17, 2016 23:03 IST

By Sabin Dhamala Kathmandu (Nepal), Aug.17 (ANI): India's Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae has said New Delhi is looking forward to the official visits of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Pushpa Kumar Dahal, and will be working out the agenda for these trips with Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi when he starts his visit of India from Thursday. Interacting with media at the Reporters Club on Wednesday, Ambassador Rae said Deputy Prime Minister Nidhi's India visit will also mainly focus on inviting India's President Pranab Mukherjee to Nepal and prepare for the visits of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and President Bidhya Devi Bhandari. He added that India, as a good neighbor, was ready to help Nepal in its economic development. It maybe recalled that in May this year, Nepal faced a major political crisis after the Maoists threatened to pull out of the ruling coalition and dislodge thenPrime Minister K.P.Oli. At that time, Kathmandu also recalled its ambassador to India, Deep Kumar Upadhyay, for allegedly siding with the opposition Nepali Congress and supporting a threat by the Maoist party to topple the government. The political crisis also led to the cancellation of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari's visit to New Delhi, further straining ties between the two neighbours. Nepal's relationship with India has been strained since a months-long border blockade last year by the Madhesi ethnic minority. The Madhesis were protesting against a new constitution which they said had left them politically marginalised. Kathmandu had then accused India of imposing an "unofficial blockade" on the landlocked nation in support of the Madhesis, who share close cultural, linguistic and family links with Indians across the border. The new constitution, the first drawn up by elected representatives, was meant to cement peace and bolster Nepal's transformation to a democratic republic after decades of political instability and a 10-year Maoist insurgency. There is yet no agreement on the charter. (ANI)