Preps begin for Modi’s visit starting May 11Reciprocating high-level visits from Nepal and aiming to reset ties with Kathmandu, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is arriving here on May 11, his third time after taking office in 2014.
Reciprocating high-level visits from Nepal and aiming to reset ties with Kathmandu, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is arriving here on May 11, his third time after taking office in 2014.
At a high-level meeting attended by senior officials and security agency representatives, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Monday endorsed India’s proposal for the visit. Oli directed officials to make necessary preparations for welcoming the Indian prime minister.
Modi’s Nepal visit will follow a summit between him and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing later this week. The developments are keenly watched as the giant neighbours compete for political and economic influence in the region while striking a balance between the two nuclear powers.
Officials said the May 11-12 timing, which appears to be convenient for both sides, is subject to change by a day or two if the need arises to fit Modi’s schedule. Two separate civic receptions in Kathmandu and Janakpur for Modi, a trip to the Muktinath temple, and remote foundation laying of the 900 megawatt Arun III hydroelectricity project are included in the preliminary itinerary. Also probable during the visit is foundation-laying on the Nepal side of the petroleum pipeline from Amlekhgunj to Chitwan.
During his first visit to Nepal in 2014, Modi was expected to receive civic reception in Janakpur and distribute some aid to students such as bicycles in that area. But the trip was cancelled due to some controversy. People of Janakpur will welcome Modi at Barah Bigha, according to officials familiar with the matter. Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri visited Janakpur on Sunday and held talks with Province 2 Chief Minister Lal Babu Ruat about the visit.
“In our meeting, we discussed issues relating to prosperity of Province 2 and preparation for Rt Honorable Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi’s visit to Janakpur,” Raut tweeted. The visit to Muktinath would depend on weather.
In 2014, Modi had expressed his desire also to visit Muktinath, which did not materialise. Modi is believed to have spent some months in Muktinath after he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.
During his visit to India earlier this month, PM Oli had got hints that Modi would visit Nepal around the assembly elections in Karnataka.
A preliminary team has arrived from India to study the situation and coordinate with Nepali officials on security and logistical matters, said sources. Another advanced team comprising officials from Indian security agencies and the protocol division will land in Kathmandu to assess the final preparations for the visit, according to officials.
The Indian side had proposed the two-day visit from May 11 amid Modi’s busy schedule. Chief Adviser to PM Oli Bishnu Rimal said the visit was certain even a formal announcement of the date is yet to be made.
Modi will arrive on May 11 most likely in Janakpur first. Then he will fly to Kathmandu where he will receive a guard of honour and meet Prime Minister Oli and other top leaders. He will also call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari. The Kathmandu Metropolitan City will oversee civic reception of Modi.