Dahal says meeting with Indian PM Modi ‘successful’


Sep 9, 2018-

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is in Delhi on a three-day visit, held talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.

The one-and-a-half hour meeting at the Indian Prime Minister’s official residence in the Indian capital, centred on bilateral relations and progress of the recent agreements between the two countries.

While Dahal did not divulge the details of his one-on-one meeting with Indian PM, he termed the meeting fruitful.

“I cannot reveal everything we discussed, but the meeting was successful,” said Dahal, adding that the meeting touched upon all the current issues between the two countries.

On Saturday, former prime minister Dahal also met with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh separately.

All eyes from Kathmandu to Delhi were on Dahal’s India visit as to how he would interact with the top Indian leadership and what political message he would convey.

Indian commentators said his visit was to win confidence of New Delhi, keeping his relationship with Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli intact. They said Dahal gave the message that he was still at the centre of Nepal’s politics and Indian leadership should treat him accordingly. “He seems to be in a mood to forge long term ties with India,” said one commentator.

His three-hour dinner meeting with India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is seen as a move to win confidence of Indian political leadership. “Dahal is batting for a long innings. He seems to be confident of leading the government and the party for at least a decade,” said the commentator.

In an interaction with Indian former diplomats, intellectuals and journalists at an event of the Indian Council of World Affairs, Dahal conceded his failure in managing relation with India in the past. He claimed that during his second tenure as PM in 2016, he tried to mend fences with the southern neighbour. Dahal, further, claimed that he built the foundation for developing cordial relations between PM KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during his tenure.

Professor SD Muni said there is not much misunderstanding between Dahal and Delhi at present and the visit has further consolidated this. “Dahal and Delhi both are in constant dialogue and the visit is a continuation of that relationship,” he said.

In his attempt to woo Indian leadership, Dahal was also careful of not upsetting his relation with NCP Co-chair and PM Oli back home.

During his high-level talks, he reiterated that he is for the continuation of KP Oli government to complete its five-year tenure. “The talk of misunderstanding between me and Oli is a mere rumour. The main objective of my visit is to create a conducive atmosphere for the Oli government,” said Dahal.

According to the Indian Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) fellow Nihar Nayak, New Delhi’s realisation that communist party will have dominance on Nepali politics at least for the next 10 years has bridged the gap between Kathmandu and Delhi.

Published: 09-09-2018 07:46

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