Bishnu Prasad Subedi New Delhi, Apr. 2: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who arrived in New Delhi, for a three-day official India visit, has started high level meetings on Friday. Prime Minister Deuba has received warm welcomes in New Delhi. India has given Deuba's visit a high priority as his visit has occurred after a long interval. PM Deuba had a meeting with chairperson of Bharatiya Janata Party, JP Nadda, Friday afternoon.
The two sides discussed issues including strengthening of Nepal-India relations and issues of common interests during the meeting. The relations between the Nepali Congress and BJP were discussed on the occasion, informed Foreign Minister Dr. Narayan Khadka, who is also a member of the PM-led delegation. Together with PM Deuba during the meeting were first lady Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba, Foreign Minister Khadka, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Pampha Bhushal, Minister for Health and Population, Birodh Khatiwada, and Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Mahendra Ray Yadav are also in the delegation.
Similarly, Minister for External Affairs of India, Subramanyam Jaishankar, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Deuba this evening. On the occasion, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar expressed happiness over meeting PM Deuba and expressed confidence that his visit would help strengthen relations between India and Nepal. PM Deuba also attended a welcome reception hosted by Nepali Ambassador to India, Shanker Prasad Sharma, in honour of PM Deuba at Nepali Embassy in New Delhi.
PM Deuba is scheduled to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi at the Hyderabad House on Saturday. Similarly, Indian Prime Minister Modi will host a luncheon in honour of the delegation led by his Nepali counterpart. Following the talks with Indian Prime Minister Modi, PM Deuba will take part in the inauguration of the 35- kilometer Jayanagar-Kurtha Railway Service and the Solu Corridor Transmission Line supported by the government of India.
Likewise, both the Prime Ministers will virtually take updates of the 132 health service centers under construction in Nepal. Upon his arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport this afternoon, Prime Minister Deuba was welcomed by Indian Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt, Nepal’s Ambassador to India, Shanker Prasad Sharma, and senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs, India and the Nepali Embassy here. Earlier in the afternoon, Prime Minister Deuba left for New Delhi by a regular flight of the Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), leading a 50-member delegation.
Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota, Home Minister Balkrishna Khand, ministers, chiefs and office-bearers of constitutional bodies, the Charge d'affaires of Indian Embassy in Kathmandu, and chiefs and representatives from the diplomatic missions saw Prime Minister and his entourage off at the Tribhuvan International Airport’s VVIP lounge. A contingent of Nepali Army offered a guard of honour to the Prime Minister at the TIA.
Prime Minister Deuba’s entourage includes his spouse Dr. Arzu Deuba, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Narayan Khadka, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Pampha Bhusal, Minister for Health and Population Birodh Khatiwada, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Mahendra Ray Yadav and Chief Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi, Prime Minister’s principal private secretary Bhanu Bahadur Deuba, Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal, secretaries and other high-ranking government officials and PM Deuba's private secretary Prakash Deuba.
Similarly, Chief Executive Officer of the Investment Board Nepal Sushil Bhatta, Managing Director of the Nepal Electricity Authority Kulman Ghising, Managing Director of the Nepal Oil Corporation Umesh Prasad Thani, chairs and office bearers of various business and trade associations, office bearers of the Independent Power Producers' Association Nepal and media-persons are also in the entourage.
This is the first official visit of Prime Minister Deuba after assuming office in July last year. This is Prime Minister Deuba’s fifth visit to India as Prime Minister, with the last visit being in August, 2017.