Peace, stability India’s major concern: Indian president

Kathmandu, November 3

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee told top leaders of major political parties of Nepal that peace, stability and prosperity were India’s major concerns in Nepal and he was confident that efforts to amend the constitution so as to take everyone on board would succeed.

Visiting Indian president conveyed these messages to the top leaders of the major political forces who met the Indian dignitary separately here today.

Senior NC leader Ramchandra Paudel said the Indian president was concerned about stability in Nepal and implementation of the new constitution. According to Paudel, the Indian president hoped that political forces’ attempt to amend the constitution to take everybody on board would succeed.

Paudel said NC leaders told Mukherjee that ongoing bilateral projects, including hydel projects, were witnessing unnecessary delays and both countries should make efforts to ensure that they were completed on time.

NC leader Minendra Rijal said Mukherjee advised NC leaders to make optimum use of India’s Line of Credit offered to Nepal for quake victims. NC President Sher Deuba also held one-on-one meeting with the Indian dignitary after a group meeting in which top leaders of the party were present.

CPN-UML Chair KP Sharma Oli also met Mukherjee and told him that his party’s focus was to give priority to the implementation of the constitution to achieve the goals of economic development after completion of political struggle, said UML leader Rajan Bhattarai, who was present in the meeting. According to Bhattarai, Mukherjee told UML leaders that peace, prosperity and stability were India’s major concern in Nepal.

Chairpersons of the constituents of United Democratic Madhesi Front also met Mukherjee.

According to Sadbhawana Party Chair Rajendra Mahato, UDMF leaders told the Indian president that the new constitution was a regressive document, as it snatched away the rights ensured in the Interim Constitution and, therefore, Madhesi and Janajati forces could not accept the constitution if it was not amended to meet their demands.

Mahato said the UDMF leaders also told Mukherjee that without amending the constitution peace and stability could not be ensured in Nepal and if Nepal remained unstable, it could also pose threat to India.

According to Mahato, Mukherjee told UDMF leaders that they should be patient and wait to see what happens regarding the constitutional issues.

Earlier, former president of Nepal Ram Baran Yadav also met the Indian dignitary. He told THT that Mukherjee hoped that the political parties would succeed in their effort to ensure full implementation of the constitution by holding elections on time.

Mukherjee also enquired about Yadav’s health. Yadav recently underwent successful surgery of prostate cancer in the United States.

Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic Chair Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar also met Mukherjee separately and told him that his visit had been helpful in removing misunderstandings between the two countries.

Senior CPN-UML leader and former PM Madhav Kumar Nepal also met the Indian president separately.