Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his jumbo delegation in India visit

(From left) DPMs Top Bahadur, Bhim Rawal, Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, DPM Kamal Thapa and UCPN Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal in a programme organised at Sundhara, on Tuesday, February 16, 2016. Photo: RSS
Kathmandu, February 16 Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli leaves on a six-day state-visit to India on Friday, leading a jumbo delegation of ministers, lawmakers, bureaucrats, security and personal aides, mediapersons and a host of businesspersons. Today’s Cabinet meeting endorsed his 46-member official delegation, which does not include almost a three-dozen representatives from the business community and a dozen Nepali diplomats based in New Delhi. Foreign ministry official said the number of delegates could reach up to 100. Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa, Finance Minister Bishnu Paudel and Home Minister Shakti Basnet, along with secretaries of their respective ministries, are accompanying PM Oli. PM’s Chief Adviser Bishnu Rimal, Foreign Relations Expert Gopal Khanal, Press Adviser Pramod Dahal and two personal aides are also on the list. While in New Delhi, prime minister and his wife Radhika Shakya will be staying at Rashtrapati Bhawan, along with 15 core official delegates, including ministers, PM’s security personnel and foreign ministry officials. Other delegates will stay in hotels. Lawmakers from CPN-UML, UCPN-Maoist and Nepali Congress have also been included in the PM’s delegation. According to Gopal Khanal, Nepali Congress leaders Sujata Koirala and Purna Bahadur Khadka, UML lawmakers Lal Babu Yadav and Rajan Bhattarai, UCPN-Maoist General Secretary Krishna Bahadur Mahara will be part of the PM’s delegation. A source told The Himalayan Times that agitating Tarai-based political parties turned down a request to give names of their lawmakers for the delegation. The three-dozen business delegates include representatives from the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Confederation of Nepalese Industries, Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Nepal-India Chamber of Commerce and Industries. The jumbo delegation will leave for India in two groups  a small group will accompany PM Oli on Friday, while others will land in New Delhi on Sunday. Khanal said the PM was scheduled to hold bilateral talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and call on President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday. During his stay in New Delhi, he will also meet Indian political leaders, including Indian National Congress President Sonia Gandhi, address a talks programme and interact with the Nepali community. On February 22, he will leave for Gujarat, where he will observe post-earthquake reconstruction work in Bhuj. From Bhuj, he will depart go to Mumbai on February 23 and address a conclave of Indian investors and industrialists before flying to Kathmandu from Mumbai on February 24.