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Dahal arrives in Delhi, busy in meeting leaders

- SURESH RAJ NEUPANE, New Delhi

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has started political meetings with Indian leaders shortly after he arrived here in New Delhi for a three-day visit on Thursday afternoon.

He held a meeting with National Security advisor of India AjitDovalthis evening.

Leader Dahal is scheduled to meet Home Minister Raj Nath Singh on Friday morning. He will take part in the ‘Lecture Series’ of Barakhamba-based India Council of World Affairs at 3 pm on Friday. At the programme, he will speak about contemporary political issues and Nepal-India relations.

Similarly, the former Prime Minister will hold an interaction with businessmen at India-Nepal Centre on Saturday evening.Former Indian ambassador to Nepal KV Rajan is the Chairman of the centre.

According to a source, Dahal is scheduled to meet Indian Prime Minister NarendraModi and India's External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj on Saturday itself.

Likewise, Dahal will hold separate meetings with the leaders of ruling BharatiyaJanata Party and opposition National Congress and intellectuals.

During his stay in Delhi, Delhi-based experts have claimed that Dahal will focus on strengthening Nepal-India bilateral ties and project himself as the next Prime Minister of Nepal.

“There seem two key objectives behind Dahal’s Delhi visit. Firstly, he wants to present himself as the Chairman of largest political party of Nepal and the aspirant for the post of Prime Minister. Secondly, he wants to express cordiality with India,” said NiharNayak, a research fellow at Delhi-based Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis.

Former Indian ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Raya said that this kind of high-level visit will further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries and also help expand the trust.

Indicating existing doubts in Delhi about Dahal, Raya said, “We cannot ignore the fact that Dahal is an influential leader of Nepal, regardless what kind of mistrust and misunderstandings were there between the two countries. This kind of visit will help in increasing mutual trust.”

Published: 2018-09-06 20:48:50