Prez India visit cancelled for ‘lack of preparations’

- Post Report, Kathmandu
We have informed India through the diplomatic channel that President Bhandari will visit in future. Cancellation of visit will not affect bilateral tiesKAMAL THAPA

May 8, 2016-Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa said on Saturday that President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s visit to India was cancelled due to “lack of preparations” and other pressing domestic issues.

Speaking in Parliament, Thapa said the visit was cancelled as “President Bhandari has to present government’s policy and programme”. President Bhandari is scheduled to present government policy and programme in Parliament on Sunday. 

“We have informed India through the diplomatic channel that President Bhandari will visit [India] in future,” Thapa said. “The cancellation of the visit will not affect our bilateral relations.”

President Bhandari’s planned visit to India from May 9 was cancelled on Friday. 

However, sources said that the visit was cancelled due to India’s reluctance to make Bhandari’s visit “a state visit”. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to pay a courtesy call on President Bhandari in New Delhi, but according to sources, some protocol issues about the meeting between Bhandari and Modi had cropped up, which also contributed to cancellation of the visit. 

Following the cancellation of President Bhandari’s visit, the government on Friday had decided to recall Nepal’s Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay. 

DPM Thapa, however, did not provide any concrete reasons about the decision to recall Upadhyay from New Delhi. “We only informed him to work in the national interest and to enhance bilateral relations between two countries,” Thapa told Parliament. “He was not recalled on the basis of his political background and individual activities.” 

Upadhyay was appointed ambassador to India in April last year from the Nepali Congress (NC) quota. During Saturday’s House meeting, NC lawmaker Prakash Sharan Mahat had demanded the grounds that prompted the government to recall the ambassador. 

Mahat alleged that the government levelled false charges against Upadhyay to “exact revenge on the main opposition”.

Government ministers have said that Ambassador Upadhyay had worked against national interest, was involved in activities designed to topple the government and had toured Tarai districts with Indian ambassador without taking consent from the government. 

Published: 08-05-2016 08:08

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