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Modi’s pilgrimage to Nepal

By PR Pradhan

After all, the third visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Nepal could not remain out of controversy. Modi apparently said, at least according to the media, satisfied from the visit and believed that the visit was a historical one and it has given a “new height” to the Nepal-India relations.
However, the Nepali people didn’t welcome him open heartedly and with happiness like during the previous visits, as they had not forgotten the pains of the blockade imposed by India not that long ago.
In spite of the government warning that nothing objectionable should be written in social networks, there were floods of comments opposing Modi’s visit. The Revolutionary Communist Party led by Mohan Vaidya organised a protest rally opposing “imperialist” India and also said that Nepali prime minister KP Sharma Oli’s had surrendered to India. A large number of workers from Vaidya’s party as well as the workers of the Netra Bikram Chand led party were arrested from many parts of the country for opposing the Modi visit. The Chand led Nepal Communist Party had called for a Nepal bandh on Sunday condemning Modi’s visit and Oli’s performance.
More importantly, a group comprising of political leaders, former senior government officials, professionals, experts and members of the civic society had issued a communiqué opposing Indian hegemony and Oli’s surrendering to the Indian whims.
Comparatively, the Nepalis are kind-hearted people. Perhaps, they could forgive the past including the painful blockade by India if Modi had said sorry for the imposition of the blockade, but Modi didn’t wish to say a single word about the blockade which has very much hurt the common Nepali people.
Nevertheless, the KP Sharma Oli led government didn’t miss any opportunity to please Modi and his team. May be, now, Oli is confident that he has been able to receive blessings from the South to prolong his tenure in office.
Oli’s claim:
Immediately after Modi’s visit, PM Oli had to give clarification to the Parliament saying that he didn’t ink any deal which is against the nation’s interests during his meetings with Indian Prime Minister and his team. Explaining all impending assurances and agreements with India, Oli said that they will be finalized by 19 September. He hoped that within five years, Kathmandu will be connected with a railway line from Raxaul and Nepali ships will reach the Indian seaports via Indian rivers.
Oli has set 19 September as the deadline for the agreements to be implemented, as he seems suspicious on the Indian intention on endorsing past agreements. If the past agreements will not be endorsed by 19 September, perhaps, Oli will be in a mood to scrap them all.
Federal government’s blunder:
Mohammad Lalbabu Raut Gaddhi, Chief Minister of No 2 province of Nepal took the opportunity to present his letter of appreciation in honour of Modijee at the civic reception organised in Janakpur, the temporary capital of the province. This is because, in the letter of appreciation, the Chief Minister didn’t forget to complain to the Indian guest about Nepal government’s discrimination against this province from which the province has remained back warded. Also, Nepal’s national flag that was hoisted at the ceremony was not stitched as per the design prescribed by our constitution. In accordance to the constitution, provinces are not allowed to make any remarks on diplomatic issues. Why our federal government did not take note of the prohibited language used by the Chief Minister, this is also surprising. Also, the federal government had deployed a large number of security personnel and also there was a strong presence of the central government officials and security personnel in Janakpur. Still in such a situation, how the Nepali flag was wrongly hoisted at the ceremony, it is a matter of curiosity.

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