Nidhi lands in Delhi to lay ground for PM’s visit

Kathmandu, August 18

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi today reached New Delhi on a four-day visit as a special envoy of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to lay ground for a series of upcoming bilateral visits in the coming months.

He was received by Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of Nepal in India, Krishna Dhakal and Indian officials upon his arrival at IGI Airport.

Before leaving, Nidhi told mediapersons at TIA that he would extend President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s invitation to her Indian counterpart, President Pranab Mukherjee, to pay a state visit to Nepal, and to finalise date and agenda of the upcoming visit of PM Dahal to the southern neighbour.

He said the prime minister would visit India before he leaves for New York to attend the 71st UN General Assembly in late September. It is learnt that the Indian side has proposed that Dahal should schedule his official visit to India from September 15 to 17.

Nidhi will also lay ground for President Bhandari’s visit to India. The Head of State’s scheduled visit was abruptly called off in May, Both sides are trying to reschedule her trip within this year.

“The objective of my visit is to strengthen bilateral relations and give impetus to high-level exchanges between the two countries,” Nidhi said.

As a special emissary of PM Dahal, Nidhi will call on Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and meet his Indian counterpart Home Minister Rajnath Singh and India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, according to Bhrigu Dhungana, Head of India Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He is set to call on PM Modi and hold meetings with Home Minister Singh and EAM Swaraj tomorrow. He will pay a courtesy call on President Mukherjee on Saturday. He will also meet the leaders of various political parties, including ruling Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah.

Speaking at an interaction in Kathmandu yesterday, Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae had said both the countries were committed to making upcoming high-level exchanges between the two countries more substantive and fruitful.

Nidhi’s visit will lay ground for these visits, Rae added.

Some unresolved issues on the new constitution of Nepal are expected to figure in Nidhi’s political parleys in New Delhi. He will seek India’s positive support to end such political conundrum, said an official.

India so far has refrained from welcoming the Charter, which was promulgated on September 20 and has maintained its position that concerns raised by Madhesi/Janajati parties have to be addressed through dialogue.

India keen to work with new govt

KATHMANDU: Spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup said India looked forward to working closely with the new government of Nepal.

In his weekly press briefing in the Indian capital on Thursday, Swarup said, “India attaches high priority to its relations with Nepal and looks forward to working closely with the new government.”

Swarup said the visit of Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi as special envoy of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal would provide an opportunity to understand the priorities of the Government of Nepal   and to discuss ways to strengthen the multi-faceted relations between the two countries.

He said Nidhi’s India visit was the first high-level tour after the formation of the new government under Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal.