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PM Narendra Modi meets Nepal President, Maoist leader Prachanda

By Ritesh K Srivastava | Last Updated: Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 01:15

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

Kathmandu: Shortly after visiting the world-famous Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu and offering special prayers there, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday met Nepal`s President Ram Baran Yadav and discussed a wide range of issues with him. During his meeting with Yadav, Modi discussed how to further strengthen ties between the two countries. “You have won our hearts with your speech at the Parliament yesterday, “President Ram Baran Yadav told Modi during the discussion. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and senior officials from India and Nepal were present at the meeting that lasted about 15 minutes. The meeting will be followed by a vegetarian lunch, which will include some Gujarati dishes. The lunch was vegetarian since this is a Monday that falls in the traditional Sravan month. CPN-Maoist leader Prachanda also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed confidence that a "new chapter" has begun in Indo-Nepal ties. Prachanda, who led a decade-long armed movement before joining mainstream politics about seven years back, said he found Modi "very clear" in his mind about supporting the ongoing peace process and economic progress of Nepal. "We had a very fruitful meeting. A new initiative has begun in relations of India and Nepal. It is really historic," the former Prime Minister of Nepal, who has been a critic of India, said after the meeting with Modi during which the two discussed the current state of bilateral ties and the future. The Prime Minister will leave for Delhi at 4:30 pm. PM Modi had won a million hearts by speaking in Nepali briefly during his 50-minute address to Parliament on Sunday. While addressing the Nepal`s Parliament, Modi pledged not to interfere in the Himalayan nation`s internal affairs, announced a USD 1 billion line of credit and said New Delhi was determined to forge a new relationship with Kathmandu. After wide-ranging talks with his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala soon after arriving here, Modi addressed Nepal`s Parliament, becoming the first foreign leader to do so after the restoration of democracy in this South Asian nation in 1990. The Prime Minister covered a range of subjects in his Parliament speech, from religion to politics, from diplomacy to herbal medicines, and from information technology to infrastructure. Modi gave a `HIT` formula for Nepal, saying India wants to help Nepal build highways (H), information highways (I) and transways - transmission lines (T). He said his government is keen to double power supply to Nepal and pipelines would be built to help transport oil to the Himalayan nation. He said India would help Nepal emerge as a major exporter of herbal medicines and develop its tourism potential. Modi said it is more expensive to make a telephone call between India and Nepal than it is to make a call between India and US and he was keen to change that. In his speech, he appreciated the warm reception he was accorded after landing in Kathmandu earlier in the day on a two-day official visit. In his speech, Modi made frequent references to the Hindu religion to underscore the ancient ties between the two countries. "I come from Somnath`s land... I started my parliamentary journey from Kashi. Today I am standing at the feet of Pashupatinath," he said referring to his home state Gujarat, his parliamentary seat Varanasi and the famed Shiva temple in Nepal. "There is a temple in Kashi where the priest is from Nepal, and the priest of Pashupatinath is from India." He also hailed Nepal`s Constitution drafting process during his speech in Hindi which was applauded by the parliamentarians of Nepal more than 20 times. He touched a chord by paying homage to the Gorkha soldiers who became martyrs in India`s wars against China and Pakistan. Also, three agreements were signed between India and Nepal including cooperation between Doordarshan and Nepal TV. Modi will be back in the Himalayan country again in November for the SAARC meet. With Agency inputs



First Published: Monday, August 4, 2014 - 10:45

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