PM Narendra Modi Nepal visit aimed at healing old wounds, building trust

Posted May 11, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will jointly inaugurate the 900-MW Arun III power project with his Nepalese counterpart, announce special assistance for Janakpur (birthplace of Sita as per Ramayana), and oversee the sides drawing timelines for implementing projects during his two-day visit to Nepal on May 11 and 12, persons familiar with the planning said.

The historic trip was part of the Modi government's "Neighbourhood First" policy and raised hopes that India's ties with Nepal would scale new heights.

This will be his third visit to Nepal as Prime Minister. He will come back to Kathmandu in the afternoon and offer prayers at Pashupathi Nath temple, Kumar said.

-There are many posters are hung outside the temple to welcome PM Modi.

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Modi will also call on Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Vice President Nanda Kishor Pun and meet leaders of political parties.

Sources said the Prime Minister will also meet leaders of Madhes-based parties, Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal (SSFN) and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN).

But a floundering foreign policy vis-a-vis Nepal despite the tom-tomming of a "Neighbourhood First" approach by the Modi government has meant that it's slipping from India's grip and into the welcoming arms of China.

"Together, our two countries have completed several bilateral connectivity and development projects in the last few years, and have initiated transformational initiatives for the benefit of both our citizens", he wrote in his Facebook page.

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India never officially acknowledged the blockade, coming in the wake of Nepal's new constitution, which India feared could spur violence that might spill across borders.

During the Prime Minister's visit to Nepal, he will hold wide ranging discussions with Nepalese PM Oli. Modi will also attend a banquet hosted by Prime Minister Oli. He briefed them about issues to be taken up with Modi and solicited their advice.

"It reflects the high priority, India, and personally I, attach to our age-old, close and friendly ties with Nepal", the PM said in a statement.

Oli's visit was seen as an attempt to fix Nepal's ties with New Delhi. Prior to PM's visit to Ram Janaki temple in Nepal, temple priests have made arrangements inside the temple premises.

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The sources said there may be an announcement on the proposed Ramayan circuit, under which fifteen destinations like Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur and Chitrakoot will be developed to promote religious tourism.