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Will President Bhandari help fix Oli-India relations?

By Our Reporter
President Bidya Bhandari is scheduled to embark on a state visit to India from April 17. It will be the first foreign visit by the first female and the second President of Nepal almost 20 months after she assumed the high office.
She is visiting India at the invitation of Indian President Pranav Mukherjee.
She had cancelled her India visit earlier in May last year owing to bad relations between Nepal and India. Although the visit was cancelled citing lack of preparations, the cancellation was a symbolic protest against the ‘big brotherly’ attitude India had exhibited after the promulgation of new constitution in Nepal in September. She had cancelled the proposed visit at the suggestion of then Prime Minister K P Oli, who is very close to her.
Instead, Indian President Mukherjee arrived in Kathmandu on May 2 on his three-day state visit to Nepal.
According to the media reports, President Bidya Bhandari will meet her Indian President Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on April 18.
From New Delhi, the President will fly to Banaras to attend a function of Banaras Hindu University.
Many observers in Nepal are keenly looking whether President proposed India visit will help improve UML chair Oli’s relations with India as the President is politically very close to Oli.
Oli who faced opposition from the Indian establishment right from the day he was elected to the post of prime minister, and he was ousted under the Indian design in August last year. Still the Indian establishment seems to have working to prevent Oli from returning to power. As such, the President’s forthcoming India visit is looked with keen interest whether her visit will help improve-Oli-Modi relations.

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