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Nepal Recalls Envoy; Cancels President's Visit
May 09, 2016

In an unexpected development, the first official visit of Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari to India has been cancelled. It was on the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee that she was to embark on her first official visit to India on May 9.

  • She was also slated to participate in a Shahi Snan in the ongoing Simhastha Kumbh at Ujjain on May 14.

  • The main reason for her visit being cancelled is the refusal of the Nepalese cabinet to approve her visit.

The Nepal government on May 6 after cancelling the visit of President recalled its ambassador to India Deep K. Upadhyay, further straining ties between the two neighbours after months of tension.

  • Upadhyay was recalled to Kathmandu on May 6 after allegedly siding with the Nepali Congress opposition in supporting a threat by the Maoist party to topple Prime Minister K.P Sharma Oli’s government.

  • Upadhyay was instrumental in bringing the relationship between India and Nepal ‘back on track,’ but was not seen by Kathmandu as a loyalist to the K.P. Sharma Oli government.

  • The decision to recall Upadhyay is being seen as Oli’s bid to deflect the problems towards India.

  • Upadhyay was appointed Ambassador to India in April last year by then PM Sushil Koirala, is seen as a political appointee by Nepali Congress.

  • Upadhyay is learnt to have advised the Oli government against cancelling Bhandari’s visit and that did not go down well with the top leaders in Kathmandu.

It is to be noted here that Nepal’s Parliament was thrown into chaos last week after the Maoists threatened to pull out of the ruling coalition and dislodge the prime minister. The Maoists later decided to continue supporting the government.

Official sources in Nepal said the visit was cancelled in view of the threat of a split in the coalition government of CPN-UML and UCPN-Maoist in Nepal. Earlier this week, the UCPN-Maoist led by Prachanda triggered political instability by declaring end of the coalition.

This fallout of Nepali politics in its ties with India is likely to further strain relations between the two neighbouring countries, which were at a low following the violent Madheshi protests, in which the protesters blocked the Birgunj-Raxaul border, leading to an acute shortage of essential goods in Nepal.


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