Modi meets political leaders

Published On: May 13, 2018 08:10 AM NPT By: Ashok Dahal  | @ashokpillar

Wishes for stability, prosperity and development

KATHMANDU, May 13: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held separate meetings with the top political leaders from the ruling and opposition parties, before wrapping up his two-day Nepal visit on Saturday. 

Modi wished for political stability, economic prosperity and development of Nepal during the political parlays, said leaders attending the meetings. Modi held meetings with the office bearers and other top leaders of the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC), one-on-one meetings with ruling coalition partner CPN (Maoist Center)’s Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) Chairman Upendra Yadav, and a group meeting with six presidium members of Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) at hotel Hyatt in Kathmandu. 

“I have no other agenda besides conveying my wish for prosperity of Nepal. I wish that Nepal secure its major achievement of democracy and move ahead for development,” NC Vice-president Bimalendra Nidhi quoted Modi as saying. 

On behalf of the party, NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba thanked Modi for his visits to the religious and historical sites of the country. Party senior leaders Ram Chandra Paudel, Vice-president Nidhi, General Secretary Shashank Koirala, Treasurer Sitadevi Yadav including other leaders were present in the meeting. 

Both sides discussed exploring new places besides Kathmandu and Delhi for bilateral exchanges of visits between the two countries to enhance the understanding of both countries and promoting new places. 

During his one-on-one with Modi, former prime minister and Maoist Center Chairman Dahal requested Modi to to close the temporary field office of the Indian embassy in Biratnagar. The Indian embassy in Kathmandu had set up a temporary field office in Biratnagar right after the Koshi flood in 2008 in the name of carrying out maintenance of the damaged Koshi barrage. 

Since then the office has been expanded instead of being closed, irrespective of Nepal’s demand to close the office.  “Chairman Dahal also raised concerns over border issues and the inundation problem in Madhes, besides demanding to close down the temporary field office of Indian embassy in Biratnagar,” reads a statement issued by Dahal’s secretariat. During the meeting, Dahal lobbied for assistance from neighboring countries including India for Nepal’s development. Dahal extended thanks to Modi for Indian assistance during Nepal’s three-tier elections. 

Indian Prime Minister Modi also held separate meetings with FSFN Chairman Upendra Yadav and RJPN’s six presidium members including Mahantha Thakur, Rajendra Mahato, Mahendra Raya Yadav, Sharat Singh Bhandari, Anil Jha and Raj Kishor Yadav on Saturday.

According to sources, Modi suggested to the Madhesi leaders to bolster cooperation with the ruling parties and focus on the stability and prosperity of the country. 

“We told him that the constitution of our country is discriminatory against Madhesi people, our political rights are limited in the statute and we are struggling for its correction. In response, Modi wished for political stability in Nepal, strengthening democracy and ensuring rights of the people,” Mahendra Raya Yadav told Republica after the meeting. 

Spokesperson for the Indian External Affairs Ministry Raveesh Kumar tweeted that both side ‘had a good exchange of views on matters pertaining to India-Nepal relations,’ during the meeting with FSFN Chairman Yadav and ‘congratulated the party on their recent electoral performance and exchanged views on deepening our bilateral relations with Nepal,’ during the meeting with RJPN leaders.

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