Nepalese leaders favour more cooperation with India

Noting that Nepal could not make progress over the last 50 years due to anti-India nationalism, senior Nepalese politicians have said Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s visit should be used for collaborating with India.

PTI| Updated: Jul 29, 2014, 23:55 PM IST

Kathmandu: Noting that Nepal could not make progress over the last 50 years due to anti-India nationalism, senior Nepalese politicians have said Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s visit should be used for collaborating with India in a number of areas, including in the power sector.

"Nepal cannot attain economic prosperity if we continue to be influenced by mentality of anti-India nationalism," president of Sadbhawana Party Rajendra Mahato said pointing to those elements who were against signing any agreement with India for the development of hydropower.

He also asked the coalition government to seriously engage in necessary homeworks so that we could get real benefit from the visit of Modi, who came to power by promising economic development and prosperity to the people of India.

"Nepal could not make progress over the last fifty years mainly due to the anti-India nationalism" adopted by some vested interest groups, pointed out the senior Madhesi leader adding the country will never progress if we continue to pursue such an ill mentality.

Mahato said the recently concluded visit by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Nepal was an unprecedented success.

He was addressing an interaction programme organised by Madhesi Journalists Society in Kathmandu on the theme of `Evaluation of Sushma Swaraj`s visit and expectations of Modi`s visit`.

President of Rastriya Madhes Samajwadi Party, Sahrad Singh Bhandari said that "Nepal cannot reduce its huge trade deficit with India without generating abundant hydropower and exporting it to India".

"We need to immediately sign a `Power Trade Agreement` with the government of India and `Power Development Agreement` with Indian companies engaged in developing hydropower in Nepal for the purpose," he pointed out. "There is no other option than forging cooperation and collaboration with India for the development of hydropower sector," he said.

"The government needs to do lots of home works and political consensus should be forged among various political parties for signing a hydropower deal with India for the best interest of the country," he said.
Nepali Congress Lawmaker Amaresh Kumar Singh said that India is likely to announce separate assistance packages for the development of Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha, Pashupatinath Temple and Janakpurdham during Modi`s visit.
Nepal is most likely to sign Power Trade Agreement and Power Development Agreement with India during the visit of Modi and the government is engaged in necessary home works including forging national consensus in the matter, said the Nepali Congress leader. He said that India is likely to announce gifting a middle-sized hydropower to Nepal during Modi`s visit.