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Modi to visit Nepal in May

By Our Reporter
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is arriving in Nepal on May 11 on a two day state visit to Nepal.  It will be his third visit to Nepal after assuming the high office in 2014.
According to media reports both in Nepal and India, the Indian Prime Minister will also reach Janakpur this time. He had earlier planned to pay homage to Janaki temple in 2014, but was postponed due to objection from a section of Nepali politics.
CPN-Maoist Centre boss also confirmed Modi’s Nepal visit on May 11. According to him, Modi will also visit Muktinath and Janakpur.
After the promulgation of the new constitution, Nepal-India relations reached lowest making it almost impossible for Modi to visit Nepal. However, the bilateral relations between Nepal and India have returned to normalcy after Nepal’s Prime Minister K P Oli embarked on a two-day state visit to India on April 6. The proposed Nepal visit of Modi comes as yet another sign of the restoration of normalcy in bilateral relations between India and Nepal.
However, Modi’s visit, which is still at the planning stage, has come as a surprise for Prime Minister Oli, as the latter was planning to welcome Modi only after paying a visit to Beijing. Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali, who visited China to prepare ground for PM Oli’s China visit returned to Nepal only on Saturday.  And the new visit schedule was disclosed by India unilaterally. As a result, Prime Minister Oli has no option but to make preparation to welcome his Indian counterpart by postponing his plan to fly to northern neighbour.
Although it was reported that Modi decided to visit Nepal on May 11 as he had time only for that particular period, speculations have been high that Modi wanted to visit Nepal before Oli’s China visit to sign an important project deal, because during his China visit PM Oli is likely to sign a deal on building railway line.  India naturally wants to be become first and probably the largest development donor for Nepal to keep its influence in Nepal. No matter, what the surprise deal will be, it will be expected to be in favour of Nepal so as to reduce the anti-Indian sentiment in Nepal.
Whatever the two prime ministers sign, Modi is not likely to receive warm welcome from the people level in Kathmandu as during his first Nepal visit in August 2014. Then the people in Kathmandu had come to the street to greet Modi, and Modi had also waved his hands towards the masses. But this time, most probably, the street of Kathmandu will remain empty as the Nepali people had not yet overcome the pain they underwent due to the blockade imposed by India in 2015. However, the people in Janakpur are sure to welcome Modi as the people in Kathmandu had done in 2014.

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