Odisha chief secretary Pradeep Jena on Saturday confirmed that the death toll in the horrific train derailment in Balasore had risen to 233.
Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who assumed office in December last year, is likely to begin his four-day visit to India starting May 31, according to sources in Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“If everything goes according to the plan, then Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal will embark on a visit to India starting May 31 and return on June 3,” an official aware of the matter at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nepal told ANI. Earlier this year, Prachanda had announced that he would visit India on his first foreign trip after becoming prime minister of Nepal.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sewa Lamsal confirmed that preparations have started in the Himalayan country for the visit of Dahal also known as Prachanda.
An official statement is expected to be released on Friday or Saturday, officials confirmed. “The dates will be announced by both countries on the same day,” Lamsal told ANI over phone.
During his four-day-long State visit, Nepal’s Prime Minister will call on President Draupadi Murmu in the national capital and hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House.
“On the first day of his visit Nepal’s Prime Minister will hold a meeting with External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in Delhi. On the second day of the visit, on June 2 a bilateral meeting between the two Prime Ministers will be held in Delhi. A few agreements have been prepared to be signed in,” an official from Indian Embassy in Kathmandu confirmed to ANI.
As per officials aware of the preparations for the visit, the Nepal Prime Minister will make a courtesy call to President Murmu on the third day of his visit before leaving for Mumbai.
“The Nepal Prime Minister is expected to return on June 3,” the official from Indian Embassy in Kathmandu confirmed.
Agreements on power transmission, cross-border electricity transmission and other agreements relating to development projects are likely to be inked during the visit.
Meanwhile, The Kathmandu Post cited Foreign Minister NP Saud as saying that the Prachanda will go on the India visit immediately after the budget in presented in Parliament.
He said that his ministry was working with other line ministries to determine the visit’s agenda, the publication said.
Finance Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat will present the fiscal budget on May 29, the Kathmandu Post reported.
Senior government officials from the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Post that preparations were in full swing to give a final shape to the agreements and the MOUs as well as a groundbreaking ceremony for some projects. Some agreements are almost final while others are under consideration.
Prachanda had won a vote of confidence in parliament in March this year after securing the support of the Nepali Congress party and some other smaller parties. This was the second-floor test after he was sworn in as Prime Minister of Nepal for the third time on December 26 last year.
Prachanda visited India in July last year at the invitation of BJP National President JP Nadda.
Previously Dahal visited India after attending the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. In 2016, he visited New Delhi again, in his first official visit to the country.
India’s involvement in Nepal has been informed by its principle of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.