Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ is likely to travel to India on an official visit next month – his first foreign trip since assuming the office for the third time in December last year, a media report said on Thursday.
Though the official date of his visit to India is yet to be announced, boosting bilateral ties and talks on trade, energy, agriculture, culture and air service will prominently feature in his talks with Indian leaders.
Sources close to the 68-year-old Prime Minister said that his visit to India in the near future is in the cards and the date would be fixed once the Prime Minister gets a vote of confidence from the House of Representatives.
“The visit will take place after the PM seeks a vote of confidence and expands his cabinet,” a source said.
Earlier, the Prime Minister had announced that he would visit India on his first foreign trip after assuming the post. The Prime Minister is seeking a vote of confidence from the Parliament on March 20.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has started preparations for the visit,” The Kathmandu Post newspaper reported. The ministry has started groundworks works for the purpose and meetings are being organised with the line ministries to prepare the agenda, the daily reported, quoting an official at the Foreign Ministry.
Mid-April will be the tentative date for the Prime Minister to embark for the official visit, said the paper.
In July last year, Prachanda visited India at the invitation of BJP National President J P Nadda. In addition to the BJP president, he had at the time met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.
Prachanda was sworn in as the Prime Minister for the third time on December 26 last year after he dramatically walked out of the pre-poll alliance led by the Nepali Congress and joined hands with opposition leader K P Sharma Oli.
However, their alliance ended after the Maoist leader decided to support senior Nepali Congress (NC) candidate Ram Chandra Paudel for the President’s post. With the support from the NC and the eighty-party alliance, the Prachanda-led government is expected to comfortably survive the vote of confidence in Parliament.
The eight-party alliance includes the Nepali Congress, CPN-Maoist Centre, CPN-Unified Socialist, Nagarik Unmukti Party, Janamat Party, Janta Samajwadi Party, Lokatantrik Samajwadi Party and Rastriya Janamorcha.
Prachanda needs only 138 votes in parliament to continue his term as the prime minister. With the three major parties, NC (89), CPN-Maoist Centre (32) and RSP (20), Prachanda is poised to sail through the trust vote, with support of at least 141 lawmakers.