Temple visits, political meetings to mark Modi's Nepal visit

Grand welcome awaits PM Modi in Nepal

Indian PM Modi will begin his two-day state visit to Nepal tomorrow.

On May 12, Modi will visit Muktinath temple at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass in Mustang district to pay obeisance and also announce a "surprise gift" for its development and reconstruction.

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has clarified that India has kept its relation with Nepal on its priority.

Modi and Nepal's Prime Minister K P Oli are also scheduled to jointly inaugurate the Arun-III, a 900 MW power project.

Later, Modi will meet the leaders of various political parties which will be followed by a civic reception to be hosted by the mayor of Kathmandu.

Modi will then be offered a civic reception at the Bahrabigaha's Rangabhoomi ground where he is likely to address the people gathered to welcome him.

The prime minister will call on Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun and President Bidya Devi Bhandari in the afternoon. "The entire city is being decorated for the high profile visit", said Lal Babu Raut, Chief Minister of Province 2 in Nepal.

In the first leg of his visit PM Modi will arrive at Janakpur on Friday.

India never officially acknowledged the blockade, coming in the wake of Nepal's new constitution, which India feared could spur violence that might spill across borders.

So it is perhaps with a measure of dismay that New Delhi views the return of Oli as his country's prime minister.

The visit is expected to bridge a trust deficit between India and Nepal that is seen to have been caused by India's opposition to Nepal's 2015 constitution, which seemingly gave more privileges to the upper caste hill tribes as compared to the Tharus, Madhesis and the Janjatis. "The visit is taking place at such an important moment, when a stable government is in place at the centre with the slogan of attaining economic prosperity and development", Manandhar pointed out, adding the visit would be instrumental for Nepal's desire to attain economic progress through cooperation and assistance from India. "We hope to get land clearances faster", sources said.

They said both sides will deliberate on the implementation of the ambitious rail project to link Kathmandu with Raxaul in Bihar and connecting landlocked Nepal with river transport system with India, apart from several other key connectivity projects.

Nepalese PM Oli had visited India around a month back which was seen as an attempt to fix Nepal's ties with New Delhi. Some think New Delhi realised it went too far, pushed Nepal closer to China, and it is now trying to reset bilateral ties.

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