PM to embark on a 2-day visit to Nepal from Friday

11 May, 2018, 09:59 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Grand welcome awaits PM Modi in Nepal

A day before he leaves for the Himalayan Kingdom, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday described his two-day visit to Nepal as a reflection of his Government's commitment to the "neighbourhood first" policy.

Both PMs will also be flagging off a bus service from Janakpur to Ayodhya during this visit.

Three helipads were constructed at the Janakpur Airport for the landing of Modi's helicopter.

Province 2 Chief Minister Lalbabu Raut is scheduled to chair the civic felicitation of Indian PM Modi and the programme will be conducted in Hindi language.

While some of the visitors want to listen to Prime Minister's address, others just want to have a glimpse of him. Never mind the religious route Modi is taking on his third trip-he will be going to the pilgrim towns of Muktinath and Janakpur-to reach out to both the Nepalese and his constituency back home, the visit will need to go beyond mere optics.

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The Ramayan Circuit is among the 13 tourist circuits under the "Swadesh Darshan Scheme" of India. Later, Prime Minister Modi will be accorded a civic reception by the Janakpur sub-metropolitan city at Barhabigha ground. Although the Oli-led CPN-UML had raised the issue of the blockade during the election campaign and nationalist slogans, after winning the election the Leftist party toned down its voice and adopted a positive attitude towards India, Mahat said. The provincial government has announced a public holiday to coincide with his visit.

Likewise, in the afternoon, Modi will receive a guard of honour at Tundikhel before visiting Bahadur Bhawan and Sheetal Niwas to pay courtesy calls on Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun and President Bidya Devi Bhandari respectively.

It is the first of five long-mooted mega hydropower projects, two of which are backed by Chinese companies, to begin construction. India will spend $1.5 billion on it. Oli has also asserted Nepali nationalism of late which suggests that the country is more inclined to do things that best suit its interests, instead of blindly following either of its two big neighbours. The Nepali leader will later host a dinner for his Indian counterpart.

Modi said the two countries have completed several bilateral connectivity and development projects in the last few years and initiated transformational initiatives for the benefit of their people. Our correspondent reports that capital Kathmandu and historic city of Janakpur has been marvelously decked and people eagerly waiting to welcome PM Modi.

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