INDIA, NEPAL MAY SIGN PACTS ON ENERGY AND WATER

  • As Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda prepares for an official visit to India, the “southern neighbour” maintained silence as fast paced developments in Nepal remain the talk of the town here.
  • The air of caution around Mr. Prachanda’s visit is partly due to the volatile political condition in Nepal which has witnessed two successive changes in the ruling coalition that came to power in December 2022 and has been beset by a number of corruption scandals ever since.
  • Sources have confirmed that a four-day visit is expected to take place beginning on May 31 during which the two sides will hold discussions on a few lingering issues and seal multiple deals.
  • The Kathmandu Post on Friday said Nepal was likely to sign an energy deal during Mr. Prachanda’s visit to Delhi and that the two sides would conclude at least six agreements during the exchanges here.
  • Quoting Nepal’s Foreign Minister N.P. Saud, it said the agreements might include those on water and agriculture cooperation.
  • The visit has been in discussion for the past three months with Mr. Prachanda himself often talking about it which, however, did not find a quick response from the Indian side, with officials merely indicating that such a visit would take place “in fullness of time”.
  • Prachanda came to power in December in a dramatic coalition somersault after he dumped the Nepali Congress and was joined by former Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli-led CPN-UML that helped him become the Prime Minister for a third time since the end of monarchy in Nepal.
  • However, the leftist coalition broke up in February over disagreement regarding the candidature of the post of the President. Subsequently, Ram Chandra Poudel was elected President with support from the Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal – Maoist Centre.

SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB

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