Statute in final stage, Dahal tells Indian officials


UCPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is on a week-long visit of India, has apprised Indian officials that Nepal’s constitution making is in the final stage and will be promulgated soon.

In his meeting with External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Wednesday, he said voices from all sides, including women, Madhesi, and other marginalised communities will be addressed in the upcoming constitution as public feedback is being collected on the draft for the same, sources in New Delhi told The Himalayan Times.

Separately, Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar also called on Dahal and discussed various bilateral issues.

At the invitation of the Government of India, Dahal, along with his wife Sita, had left for New Delhi yesterday. He is also scheduled to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, most probably on Friday, according to Dahal’s accompanying personal aide, Shiva Khakurel.

Swaraj inquired about issues of the new constitution, peace process and the post-quake recovery efforts.

The former prime minister appreciated India’s generous support right after the devastation caused by the April 25 earthquake and the financial pledge for recovery.

According to Ambassador of Nepal to India, Deep Kumar Upadhyay, who had joined a luncheon hosted by Swaraj, Dahal also raised the issue of Lipu-lekh and stated that it should be resolved amicably. A statement issued by Dahal’s personal secretariat has also stated the need of an amicable solution based on historical facts and evidences.

Dahal also discussed reduction of excessive calling charges between the two neighbours and urged India to make it easy for Nepalis to open back account in India.

Ambassador Upadhyay told THT over phone that Swaraj spoke of New Delhi’s readiness to find out and invest in new developmental projects in Nepal that could help the economy recover after the devastation caused by the quake.

Before returning home on Monday, Dahal will also visit Bhuj, Gujarat — the epicentre of the January 2001 earthquake and take stock of the devastation caused and its successful rebuilding successful under the then chief minister of Gujarat and incumbent PM Modi.