Modi invites Prachanda for first state visit

Modi invites Prachanda for first state visit

Modi invites Prachanda for first state visit

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday invited Nepal’s new leader Prachanda to New Delhi on an early official visit.

The prime minsiter offered the invitation through Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Bimalendra Nidhi, currently on a visit to New Delhi as Prachanda’s special envoy. Bimalendra Nidhi called on the prime minister on Saturday.

Prachanda, who took over as the new prime minister of Nepal on August 4, sent Bimalendra Nidhi and another Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara to India and China, respectively, as his special envoys.

The move is seen as an attempt to signal the willingness of the new government in Nepal to strike a balance in Kathmandu’s relations with Beijing and New Delhi.

Prachanda, who leads the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-Centre), took over as the new prime minister after dislodging his predecessor K P Oli. On July 12, his party withdrew its support to the erstwhile government led by Oli’s Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxists-Leninists).

New Delhi’s relations with Kathmandu came under stress after the new Constitution adopted by Constituent Assembly of Nepal in September 2015 triggered internal protests.

Disgruntled communities like Madhesis and Tharus resorted to protests, charging  that the new Constitution failed to allay their concerns of further marginalisation and meet their aspirations.

India also prodded Nepal to ensure that the new statute was inclusive Modi on Saturday conveyed his best wishes to his Nepal counterpart, who held the position earlier from 2008 to 2009.

India was upset when Prachanda, who led a Maoist insurgency in Nepal from 1996 to 2006, chose to visit China first after becoming the prime minister of Nepal in 2008.

 Almost all of his predecessors in the past half-a-century chose New Delhi for their first official trip abroad.

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