Nepal FM visits Janakpur ahead of Modi visit

PM Modi's visit seeks to bridge trust deficit between India and Nepal

Indian Premier Narendra Modi is due in Nepal on Friday for a two-day visit created to mend fences with its smaller neighbor, but anger is still simmering in the landlocked country over a crippling blockade some two years ago.

After visiting the Janakpur temple on Friday morning, Modi will attend a civic reception hosted by the Mayor of Janakpur at the Barabigha ground.

Modi and Oli are likely to sign a number of pacts and inaugurate the Rs 6000 crore Arun 3 project which is expected to generate around 900 MW of power. India's assessment is that the internal power dynamics in Nepal is stable and the two Left parties CPN (Maoist Centre) and CPN-UML in the ruling alliance will merge.Both sides will deliberate on implementation of the ambitious rail project to link Kathmandu with Raxaul in Bihar and connecting landlocked Nepal through river transport system with India.

Addressing the parliament, Minister Gyawali said Modi will pay courtesy calls on President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Vice-president Nanda Bahadur Pun on May 11.

On Saturday, the Prime Minister will visit historic Muktinath temple in Mustang district situated in north-west Nepal to offer prayers.

He reflected on the previous bilateral visits of Prime Ministers of both countries.

The entire temple premise is decorated with fresh flowers and posters welcoming PM Modi are hung outside the temple.

He will be arriving in the country's historical and ancient city of Janakpur on May 11.

"I hope PM Modi will apologize to Nepalis for this but don't believe it will happen", posted Sulav Karki, a Nepalese medical student. Arun III is the largest hydropower project to be developed in Nepal and the government has recently granted a generation licence.

Diplomatically it is important for India to try and regain its earlier closeness to Nepal as Beijing has strengthened its political and economic ties with the country while New Delhi was maintaining its distance.

Gywali said Modi's visit will prove to be a milestone for Nepal's development. During the meeting held in Kathmandu on Tuesday evening Oli briefed them about issues to be taken up with PM Modi and solicited their advice.

The visit is expected to bridge a trust deficit between India and Nepal that is seen to have been caused by India's opposition to Nepal's 2015 constitution, which seemingly gave more privileges to the upper caste hill tribes as compared to the Tharus, Madhesis and the Janjatis.

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