Indian envoy meets Nepal’s new PM; Aims at easing ties

RSTV Bureau
Kathmandu  :  Activists of the Madhesi group participate in a protest near the Constituent Assembly Hall in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015.  FIle Photo - PTI

Kathmandu : Activists of the Madhesi group participate in a protest near the Constituent Assembly Hall in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015. FIle Photo – PTI

In a move to address the unease in Indo-Nepal relations over the blockade at the key border trade points, India’s Ambassador to Kathmandu held meeting with Nepal’s new Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, congratulating the latter. Nepal has been wrecked by violent political protests by the Madhesi people who are opposing the nation’s new Constitution. Several trade points at Indo-Nepal border has been blocked due to the protest, cutting off the supplies of goods and essentials from the Indian side.

Ambassador Ranjit Rae called upon Prime Minister Oli at his residence in the Nepalese capital. As per the reports, Prime Minister Oli reiterated his government’s priority on the long and fruitful ties with Indian side.

Nepal Prime Minister is learnt to have told the Indian envoy that Nepal and India are two countries but one society. He further said that Nepal-India cooperation is for the mutual benefit of both countries, along with apprising Mr. Rae that he is looking forward to visiting India at an early date.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had called up Mr. Oli on Sunday congratulating him on assuming the highest executive office. PM Modi also said that India wants to strengthen bilateral ties even further. Mr. Modi was the first foreign leader to congratulate Oli. He also invited Oli to visit India.

The meeting between Indian envoy Rae and Nepal PM Oli comes at a time when the two neighbours are struggling with unease in their relationship over the issue of Nepal adopting a new Constitution. The Himalayan nation has alleged India of imposing an economic blockade on the country following the announcement of its new Constitution, which is being seen as against the interest of Indian-origin Madhesi community living in the Terai region of the Himalayan nation.

On the other hand, Indian authorities have rejected the allegations of blockade, which has led to the shortfall in the essential supplies in Nepal.

63-year-old veteran Communist leader KP Sharma Oli was on Monday sworn in as Nepal’s 38th Prime Minister, a day after he was elected in Parliament with support from smaller parties.

The new Prime Minister faces a daunting task of unifying the quake-hit country that has been rocked by deadly protests. The agitating Madhesi Front claims that the Constitution does not guarantee enough rights and representation to the Madhesi and Tharu communities residing in southern Nepal.

At least 40 people have died in over a month of clashes between police and protesters from the Madhesi and Tharu communities and ethnic minorities.

(With inputs from the PTI)