After Prime Minister KP Oli’s India visit in April Prime Minister Narendra Modi is gearing up to visit the Himalayan neighbor to reaffirm the second round of bipartite talks within a month.
Analysts say this trip to Nepal following Modi’s China visit will give an impetus to India’s relations with its immediate neighbors categorically.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Nepal visit on 11th and 12th May is seen as a goodwill gesture in return for his counterpart KP Oli’s India visit in April when both the leaders discussed some of the important infrastructure projects in the pipeline and boost connectivity between both the nations.
This is the third visit to Nepal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in last four years to embark on a ‘trust building” relation to strengthening ties for mutual cooperation in various sectors of development.
Citing ministerial sources, a high-level delegate has already landed in Nepal to set the stage for Modi’s much-anticipated visit.
What makes this official visit special is Modi’s entry into the country through Janakpur, located 135 km south-east of Kathmandu, a place famous as the birthplace of Sita, wife of Lord Rama.
One of the key issues to be addressed during this high profile meeting will be the signing of hydro-electric projects between both the countries, as India expressed reservations on buying electricity from Nepal-China hydroelectric projects.
The two leaders are scheduled to inaugurate the robust Arun III hydroelectric power plant which will help Nepal produce surplus electricity for household and commercial purpose.
This 900 megawatt run of the river project is expected to become operational by 2020.
Also on the table for discussion will be agricultural cooperation, rail, waterways and inland connectivity.
Nepal has also sought India’s help in building seed production centers, as a bulk of its seeds for agriculture produce arrives from India.
Nepal also demanded easy access to Indian markets making transport of goods across the borders hassle free and setting up ‘quarantine testing’ facilities at the borders.
According to Nepal’s Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, Modi’s visit will earn mostly cultural and religious footage and less likely to be a political one.
A special layer of 7000 security officials will be lined up for Prime Minister Modi’s visit as his guard of honor.
Modi will also inaugurate the Ramayan circuit a part of the much awaited Swadesh Darshan Scheme open for tourists.
To mark Prime Minister Modi’s Kathmandu tour our special team from India-aware captured a footage expressing views of the Madhesis whose status is conflicting as they are believed to be deprived of Nepal’s federal rights and policies, seeking greater participation in the state affairs.
The 2015 blockade of goods by Madhesis was allegedly backed by India leading in restriction of goods and fuel across the borders triggering widespread protests across the Himalayan country.
We talk to a Madhesi housewife who feels that the 2015 economic blockade was caused due to the burning of PM Modi’s effigy by the local people which led to the suspension of fuel and goods supply from India.
She believes that when Kathmandu and Terai region was separated the indigenous Madhesis called the Limboo, Kranti, Tharurs communities were disappointed being reduced to a minority status.
Asking if the Nepal government still blames India for the Madhesis crisis she says, that Nepal government gave shelter to Madhesis who are said to be original inhabitants of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh with a population of 3 to 4 lakhs, in exchange of 3 to 4 Nepalese settled in India.
She also feels that if the Indian government aids to build road and rail connectivity across the borders then it can boost the trade relations between both the countries.
She says Nepal has better relations with China because China has exempted Nepal from import duty on goods while India hasn’t.
In 2015 when the earthquake struck Nepal and India sent an aid of 650 crores to Nepal, people of Nepal were angry because many goods that were sent across were exchanged with duplicates and a misunderstanding was created.
She feels only Indian bonhomie and greater trust can erase the anti-Indian sentiments from the Nepalese.
Please find the inset video for more details-