Modi to begin Nepal visit from Janakpur

Kathmandu/Janakpur, May 1

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will start his two-day Nepal visit from May 11 to 12 from Janakpur, according to Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa.

Modi, who will depart from Patna on an Indian Air force helicopter, will land at Janakpur’s Baarhabigha, said Thapa. Three IAF aircraft will be used for the visit.

According to sources at the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, a senior cabinet minister and provincial chief minister will reach Baarhabigha to receive Modi. The Indian PM will then visit the Janaki temple, where he will offer puja.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is also scheduled to visit the temple the same day, where the two PMs will jointly inaugurate the Ramayana Circuit, said the OPMCM source. Following the event, Oli will return to Kathmandu, while Modi will attend a civic reception at Rangabhoomi Maidan in Baarhabigha.

Thapa, who reached Janakpur today to take stock of the security situation there, said Modi’s upcoming trip was nothing but a ‘religious visit’, and that no new agreements would be signed. “The Indian PM’s Nepal visit was finalised during Oli’s recent visit to New Delhi,” said Thapa. “This visit will take to new heights the historical, cultural and religious ties between Nepal and India.”

According to sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Modi will also visit Muktinath temple and the Indian Embassy’s pension camp in Pokhara. He will also call on President Bidhya Devi Bhandari.

The MoFA sources confirmed that no new agreement would be signed, but decisions would be taken for the effective implementation of the agreements signed during Oli’s India visit.

Oli had signed three agreements during his India trip—development of inland waterways, cross-border railways and cross-border petro-pipeline.

Sources said a total of 7,000 security personnel from Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and Nepali Army would be mobilised in Janakpur for security. Besides, special security forces, including Indian commandos, will also be mobilised, the sources added.

High-level security officials from India and officials from Indian embassy in Nepal are already in Janakpur to monitor preparations and security arrangements.

During his state visit to India from April 6 to 8, Oli had extended an invitation to Modi to visit Nepal.