KATHMANDU, May 13: Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) hosted a civic reception for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday. KMC Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya conferred a certificate of felicitation along with a token of love of a 55 kg statue of Lord Buddha and a Nepali traditional woodcraft window with an inbuilt image of a peacock called Ankhijhyal at a program organized at the City Hall.
Reading out the felicitation letter, Mayor Shakya noted India’s support to Nepal’s economic and social development as well as highlighted some of Modi’s inspiring programs like the Swaccha Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign) for cleaning streets and urban centers and the program of building 100 smart cities in India.
Addressing the gathering after his felicitation, Modi spent much of his time to praise Kathmandu city, its rich cultural heritage, diversity and temples as well as natural beauty of its surroundings including the Shivapuri hill to Nagarjun forest areas. He also said that the Kasthmandap is not only a wooden monument but also of a common culture and great historic inheritance.
After participating in the reception, Modi said that he was extremely honored to be in the city that has always lured him. “Kathmandu has always lured me by its diversity, depth and progressive attitude,” said Modi. Explaining the arts of the Kathmandu Valley, he also explained, “The ceramic utensils of Bhaktapur, crafts of metal, stone, wood in Patan crafts of Lalitpur are excellent pieces of arts.”
The natural Modi, in his third address after coming in Nepal on Friday, repeated his commitment for helping in Nepal’s development “which should be based on its own priorities.” He said India wants to be helpful like the Sherpas are for the mountaineers in Nepal’s development. He also lauded the Nepali people for the resilience they showed during the 2015 earthquake. But he did not mention the blockade which India had imposed on Nepal for five months in the same year, stopping supply of essentials including fuel, medicine and others.
Modi, who entered via Janakpur and worshiped at the Janaki temple on Friday, also went to worship Muktinath Temple in the western part of Nepal. He also worshiped at Pashupatinath in Kathmandu on Friday.
He also announced his future plan to visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
Modi also lauded Nepal’s success in holding all three tiers of elections - federal, provincial and local - within a single year as well as its journey from war to peace or in his words from “bullets to ballots”. “Nepal is not only working on the reconstruction after the earthquake but also reconstructing its political history,” added Modi.