New Delhi: Nepal's former Prime Minister and chief of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Prachanda arrived here on Tuesday on a 7-day visit as the Himalayan nation moves closer to finalising a Constitution that could end years of political instability.
During his visit, Prachanda, who led a decade-long armed movement before joining mainstream politics about seven years back, will meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and will call on President Pranab Mukherjee.
The 60-year-old Maoist supremo's visit here comes at a time when Nepal is struggling to rehabilitate lakhs of people affected by the devastating earthquake on April 25 as well as its efforts to finalise a new Constitution after years of political bickering.
The CPN (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known as Prachanda, will also participate in an event at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) here.
Prachanda, once an India baiter, has softened his stance towards the country in recent years. He had earlier frequently attacked India and accused New Delhi of interfering in Nepal's affairs and "dictating" to its leadership.
Four major political parties -- Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN-Maoist and Madhesi Peoples Forum Democratic -- that together command 90 per cent majority in the 601-member Constituent Assembly have reached a 16-point deal to settle contentious issues of Constitution-drafting.
The first draft of the Constitution was presented in the Constituent Assembly last week and is being deliberated upon.
The draft Constitution will then be published in the Nepal Gazette for discussion by the people before its promulgation.
However, some Madhesi (areas in the foothills close to Indo-Nepal border) parties and fringe parties are opposing the process, saying the proposed Constitution has failed to address their issues.
Swaraj, who had visited Kathmandu last month for an international donors' conference in the wake of the earthquake, had met the entire spectrum of Nepalese leadership, including Prachanda.
She had encouraged the leaders to finalise the long- pending draft of the Constitution at the earliest to take the country on a new path of development.