Two NC leaders divided over outcome of PM’s India visitThe main opposition Nepali Congress seems divided over the outcome of the state visit of Prime Minister KP Oli to India that concluded on Sunday.
The main opposition Nepali Congress seems divided over the outcome of the state visit of Prime Minister KP Oli to India that concluded on Sunday.
Senior NC leader Ram Sharan Mahat hailed the visit as a success, but a fellow Congress leader, Prakash Sharan Mahat, said it was “fruitless”.
The visit is successful but not historic as described by the PM, said Ram Sharan during an interaction in Kathmandu on Monday.
“PM Oli’s visit is a huge success as it has played a crucial role in improving Nepal-India bilateral ties. Nepali Congress has concluded that PM’s trip has been successful,” he said, adding, “The two prime ministers have reached some important deals. Having access to sea and railway will be a milestone for the country to accelerate the economic growth.”
However, Ram Sharan expressed serious concerns over how these agreements will be implemented.
“Things are easier said than done. How will the railway be built? Will the assistance come as grant or as loan? We have been discussing about having access to sea through inland waterways for almost forty years now. A detailed study report on bringing railway is yet to come,” he said.
But during a press conference at NC party headquarters, Prakash Sharan remarked that the country failed to make any achievement by Oli’s recent India.
Claiming that the country’s relationship with India had already improved during the tenure of the previous government under the NC, he said Oli’s visit was only focused on bettering relations on a ‘personal level’.
“The strained relations with India following the blockade at the Nepal-India border had improved significantly during the tenures of the previous governments under Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Sher Bahadur Deuba,” said Prakash Sharan, who is considered close to party President Sher Bahadur Deuba. “Nepal-India relations had already improved. Oli ji could have only improved his relations.”
Saying that there has been a ‘paradigm shift’ in the CPN-UML nationalism since it took over the reins from the NC, he said PM Oli, who was a vocal critic of India, made a U-turn on his definition of nationalism.
“Nepali Congress is consistent in its policy and perception towards neighbouring countries whether it is in power or opposition. However, the UML and its chairman seem inconsistent on the issues,” Prakash Sharan said. “The UML has demonstrated a tendency of projecting itself as a nationalist by strongly criticising India from the opposition bench, but made a U-turn as soon as he was elected to power.”
In its preliminary response to the outcome of the PM’s India visit on Sunday, the NC said that PM Oli failed to take up some pressing national issues in New Delhi.