External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said her visit to Nepal was to meet friends and there was “no fixed agenda” for discussion, ahead of her meeting with the Left alliance leader and CPN-UML chairman K P Sharma Oli, who is likely to be the next prime minister. Swaraj, who arrived here on a two-day goodwill visit, was received by Deputy Finance Minister Udaya Shumsher Rana and Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi at the airport.
“I have come to meet friends here and there is no fixed agenda for discussion,” Swaraj told reporters at the airport. She will meet Oli and senior leaders of Rastriya Janata Party Nepal later Thursday. Oli will host a dinner in her honour, reports PTI.
Her visit is being considered significant in the political spectrum here. Swaraj is the first senior Indian minister to visit Nepal after the conclusion of elections to local bodies, provincial assemblies and federal Parliament.
Nepal successfully concluded three phase of provincial, local and parliamentary elections as part of its efforts to implement the new Constitution that was promulgated in September 2015. Nepal’s Left alliance is preparing to form a new government which is expected to be headed by Oli.
Oli, in a letter, had congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 69th Republic Day of India. Swaraj will call on President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba tomorrow. She will also meet CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman and former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.
The clear victory to the Left alliance — CPN-UML led by Oli and the CPN-Maoist led by Prachanda — was not seen as a positive development for India given that Oli had publicly criticised New Delhi for interfering in Nepal’s internal matters and accused it of toppling his government last year.