Kathmandu awaits Delhi’s final word

  • Modi’s janakpur visit
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Kathmandu awaits Delhi’s final word

Nov 22, 2014-

The proposed visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Janakpur remained uncertain as of Saturday. Indian Amba-ssador to Nepal Ranjit Rae called on Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on the day to say that he had not received any official communication from New Delhi about Modi’s pilgrimage in Nepal.

Rae, however, said there were indications that the Indian PM’s visit to Sita’s birthplace would happen. The External Affairs Ministry of India was due to brief the media on the visit, but it would do that on Sunday, said a source.

“There is no formal announcement of the cancellation of the Janakpur visit. The plan will be confirmed by Sunday afternoon,” said Abhay Kumar, spokesman for the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu.

According to PM’s aides, after the meeting with the Indian envoy on Saturday morning, Koirala instructed Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Management Bimalendra Nidhi to expedite preparations to host a civic reception for Modi at the Barha Bigha ground.

On Friday evening, Koirala telephoned Modi to request him to visit Janakpur, Lumbini and Muktinath, urging him not to call off the visit due to the miscommunication. “Modi told Koirala that he will convey any decision through the Indian ambassador,” said a Baluwatar source.

Apart from Nidhi, the PM also instructed Nepali Congress Constituent Assembly members from Dhanusha and the adjoining districts to help with the preparations.

“As per the PM”s instruction, we have relocated the venue of civic reception from Ram-Janaki temple to Barha Bigha,” Nidhi said from Janakpur.

PM’s foreign relations advisor Dinesh Bhattarai told some reporters on Saturday that all the logistical preparations were over in Janakpur. He added that an assessment made by the Home secretary, chiefs of the Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Intelligence Department showed Janakpur is ready to receive Modi as far as security and logistical preparations are concerned.

PM ‘miffed at cancellation rumour’

PM’s foreign relations advisor Bhattarai said Koirala was miffed at the claims and counterclaims on Modi’s Janakpur visit plan. It “displeases” the PM at a time when the country is prepared for the Indian PM’s visits to three religious places in a way to boost Nepal’s tourism.

Published: 23-11-2014 09:23

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