Prez visit to southern neighbour put off

- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 7, 2016-

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s visit to India has been cancelled. She was scheduled to embark on her first official visit on May 9.

The Nepali side cancelled the visit citing “lack of homework”. 

But sources said that the visit was put off at the suggestion of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli who “is not happy with India for the way it played some kind of behind the curtain role to topple his government”.

When asked, PM Oli’s foreign relations expert Gopal Khanal said the visit was cancelled due to lack of preparation. 

But an aide to PM Oli told the Post that “India’s unnecessary meddling in Nepal’s internal affairs—recently during the government change exercise—had annoyed Oli”, as a result President’s visit was cancelled. 

The other reason the Nepali side has presented for the cancellation of visit is that President Bhandari’s visit was not being made a state visit [by India]. 

Delay in fixing meetings with Indian leaders and officials in India was yet another reason the Nepali side has given for the cancellation of President’s visit. 

 “All in all, PM Oli’s 

displeasure at Indian approach to Nepal led to cancellation of the President’s visit,” added the aide. 

Bhesh Raj Adhikari, chief personal assistant to President Bhandari, said that the President’s planned trip was cancelled after the Cabinet refused to approve the visit, delegation and agenda.

Earlier, both Nepal and India had told media that President Bhandari would be visiting India from May 9 at the invitation of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee. 

Published: 07-05-2016 08:23

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