Nepal Prez Bhandari arrives on 5-day India visit today
In her first overseas tour, Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari will arrive here on Monday on a five-day visit, during which she will hold talks with top Indian leadership to strengthen bilateral ties.
She will hold talks with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, exploring ways to expand cooperation between the two close neighbours whose ties faced some strain following the agitation by the Madhesi community last year. Vice President Hamid Ansari, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will call on the Nepalese President.
Bhandari was scheduled to visit India in May last year, but the trip was cancelled after the then cabinet did not endorse the visit programme, citing lack of preparations on the part of the government. The bilateral ties between the two had faced turbulence last year due to the Madhesi agitation and the subsequent blockade which halted the supply of essential goods to landlocked Nepal from India.
Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, had been demanding that the new Constitution be amended to include their concerns about adequate political representation and redrawing of federal boundaries.
It will be Bhandari's first state visit abroad after assuming the charge of the high office in October 2015. She will be staying at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. A high-level delegation comprising several ministers, MPs and senior officials will be accompanying her.