Monday 24 October 2016

Modi Meets Nepal's CPN-Maoist Leader Prachanda

Ajay Kaul, Kathmandu

CPN-Maoist leader Prachanda today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here and expressed confidence that a "new chapter" has begun in Indo-Nepal ties.

Prachanda, who led a decade-long armed movement before joining mainstream politics about seven years back, said he found Modi "very clear" in his mind about supporting the ongoing peace process and economic progress of Nepal.

"We had a very fruitful meeting. A new initiative has begun in relations of India and Nepal. It is really historic," the former Prime Minister of Nepal, who has been a critic of India, said after the meeting with Modi during which the two discussed the current state of bilateral ties and the future.

Noting that Nepal is in a "very delicate phase of transition" in terms of peace process and Constitution-making process, Prachanda said these processes should be completed successfully at the earliest.

"Modiji clearly committed support to Constitution-making and concluding this process...He is very clear in his mind to support Nepal's economic prosperity and political stability. A new chapter has begun. It is really historic," said Prachanda, whose actual name is Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

Prachanda met Modi, the first Indian premier to visit Nepal in 17 years, on the second day of his two-day trip.

Yesterday, while reacting to Modi's address to the Constituent Assembly, Prachanda had hailed the speech as "touching" and said he was visualising the dawn of a new chapter in bilateral ties.

Prachanda said the way Modi spoke demonstrates that he thoroughly understands the "ups and downs" of Nepal's peace process.

"His speech was touching and very inspiring," he had said while commenting on Modi's 45-minute address.

"I feel a new chapter is going to open in India-Nepal relations," said Prachanda. The 60-year-old leader had quit the post of prime minister a few years back following a controversy over sacking of the army chief.

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