Strong ties ‘shall always remain’Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said Nepal is at the forefront of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and reiterated the ‘historical strong shall always remain’.Modi arrived Janakpur from New Delhi on a two-day State Visit to Nepal on Friday.Addressing a gathering after his civic reception, hosted by Janakpur Sub-Metropolitan City at Rangabhoomi Maidan, the Indian premier said spiritualism connects Nepal and India more than politics and diplomacy.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said Nepal is at the forefront of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and reiterated the ‘historical strong shall always remain’.
Modi arrived Janakpur from New Delhi on a two-day State Visit to Nepal on Friday.
Addressing a gathering after his civic reception, hosted by Janakpur Sub-Metropolitan City at Rangabhoomi Maidan, the Indian premier said spiritualism connects Nepal and India more than politics and diplomacy.
Province 2 government declared public holiday on Friday to enable people from all eight districts to attend the event. Despite the scorching heat, thousands of Nepali citizens gathered at the venue to hear Modi’s dramatic oratory, enjoying peak form as he came straight from the hectic campaigning for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the Karnataka state legislative assembly elections for 223 constituencies that start Saturday.
Defence Minister Ishwor Pokharel delivered the welcome speech on behalf of the Nepal government.
Modi spent most of his 45-minute speech eulogising Nepali language, literature, culture, Mithila paintings. He hailed the centuries old cultural, linguistic and religious links between the people of India and Nepal.
He began his address in Maithili, the local language of Mithila, followed by a few sentences in Nepali and completed in Hindi. People gathered at the civic reception cheered him chanting ‘Modi, Modi’.
“Individuals and government come and go, but the strong ties between the two countries shall always remain,” Modi said, and touched people’s religious sentiments by reiterating, “Ayodhya is incomplete without Janaki. India’s Dham (religious site) and Ram are incomplete without Nepal.”
On Nepal’s push for development, Modi pledge his commitment to support the Government of Nepal. He announced Rs 1 billion assistance to the provincial executive of Province 2 to carry out development works in Janakpur and its neighbouring areas.
“I offer this grant on behalf of 1.25 billion Indian citizens at the feet of Mata (Mother) Janaki,” Modi stressed theatrically, almost atoning for the economic blockade clamped on Nepal in 2015.
He raised Nepali’s expectation saying, both countries would move forward under ‘Five T’ (tradition, trade, tourism, technology and transport) and further strengthen Nepal-India ties. He also said plans have rolled for Raxaul-Kathmandu railway as well as waterways to connect Nepal with sea routes that would boost its trade by delivering goods to global markets.
Modi also lauded Nepal for successfully holding three-tier of elections. During the civic reception, Chief Minister of Province 2 Lal Babu Raut and Janakpur Sub-Metropolitan City Mayor Lal Kishor Sah felicitated Modi by presenting him a letter written in Maithili language. They also presented him the pictures of Janaki Temple and a Mithila painting as souvenir. They also presented him a key to the city as a symbol that the historic city is always open to Indian Prime Minister Modi.
Earlier, officials from Province 2 government, Janakpur and Birgunj chapters of Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed Modi with separate garlands weighting 121kg.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli reached Janakpur few minutes before PM Modi’s aircraft landed here. PM Oli welcomed him at the temple premises.
Modi performed prayers (puja) and spent around an hour in the temple. Later, both the PMs jointly inaugurated the Ramayan Circuit by flagging off the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service.
Visiting PM received by Defence Minister Pokharel
Modi hails cultural, linguistic and religious links
Praises Mithila art
‘Ayodhya is incomplete without Janaki’
Announces Rs 1 billion grant for Province 2