November 17, 2021 8:17:23 pm
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has been invited to join Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Baba Ramdev in Kathmandu at a function to launch two TV channels by the Patanjali group Friday.
The two channels, Astha Nepal and Patanjali Nepal, will be the Rs 10,000-crore Indian FMCG giant’s foray into media. Gadkari and the Nepal PM are also scheduled to inaugurate the Patanjali Yog Ashram in Kathmandu.
The company will also launch its Swadeshi Samriddhi card in Nepal at the event. The card, much like a loyalty card, gives benefits and discounts to customers buying products from its exclusive stores. Patanjali chairman Acharya Balkrishna will also be present at the functions.
“Gadkari ji is the growth and development icon of India. That is why he is there for the function. Also in the infrastructure space, India could back Nepal as an elder brother,” said S K Tijarawala, Patanjali spokesman.
According to Patanjali, the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister is scheduled to have lunch with the Nepal Prime Minister and Ramdev before heading back to India Friday. Gadkari is expected to leave for Nepal by a commercial airline Thursday for the 24-hour Nepal trip.
Patanjali has a strong presence in Nepal. Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal in 2015, Patanjali organised large scale relief work. As per one account, Patanjali donated medicines worth Rs 1 crore and other relief material worth Rs 5 crore. Around 30,000 of its volunteers reportedly organised 30-odd relief camps in all the affected areas in Nepal.
Ramdev himself was in Kathmandu when the earthquake hit and the dais where he was supposed to appear collapsed in the earthquake.
Sources said that this is a “private function” and not a government engagement for which Gadkari has been invited by the company. However, Gadkari will reportedly meet key political leaders of both ruling and Opposition parties there, according to local reports in Nepal.
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