Nepal Foreign Affairs (KATHMANDU, 21 January 2018) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday telephoned CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli expressing his eagerness to welcome him to India as Nepal’s Prime Minister.
Modi’s telephone has come at time when all the procedural and constitutional works have begun to elect him Nepal’s next Prime Minister. ”I am eager to welcome you in Delhi as Nepal’s next Prime Minister and would like to express my desire working with you” Modi to Oli, Sources have said.
The Left alliance – CPN UML and CNP Maoist Centre- had secured the comfortable majority in the election of federal parliament and provincial assemblies held in November and December.
This is second telephonic conversation between Oli and Modi, the first was held after two days of Oli’s visit to northern border of Rasuwagadhi, from where the Chinese rail is entering Nepal. Oli is only leader of Nepal who signed historic transport and transit agreement with China and took a lead role to connect Nepal to China diversifying trade and commerce.
Modi’s call carries significant meaning as the Indian media and foreign policy experts have been continuously projecting that Oli led next government of Nepal would be closer to China than India. Indian analysts themselves realized that India government committed mistakes by imposing blockade that harmed the general Nepalis.
During their conversation, Modi and Oli shared new year wishes, according to statement released by the latter’s press secretary. Modi invited Oli to India, saying that he was “eagerly waiting to welcome” him, the statement said.
Accepting the invitation, Oli in turn invited Modi to Nepal, urging him to visit the Ram Janaki temple in Janakpur and Muktinath in Mustang — the Indian prime minister had expressed a desire to visit the two religious sites when the two leaders had met at the 2014 Saarc Summit.
Oli, as chairman of the CPN-UML — the largest party in the House — is expected to become the new prime minister and is likely to get support from the CPN(Maoist Centre), the second largest party. The two parties are also working towards a merger to create a single and strong communist centre.
Oli’s triumph in the polls has rattled India— after the 2015 blockade, he propped up an anti-India rhetoric, created a nationalist wave in Nepal, and reached out to China. During his last stint as premier, he also signed landmark transit treaty with China and hammered out several other understandings related to connectivity, trade, investment, and energy.