Nepal’s Prime Minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, has postponed his proposed visit to India for the second time due to internal reasons, including the recent by-polls, and is unlikely to make the trip before June. The visit to India would have been Prachanda’s first foreign trip after taking office for the third time in December 2022.
According to a top aide close to the Prime Minister, the delay is due to the government’s preparation for presenting its annual budget for the coming fiscal year towards the end of May. Once the budget is presented, Prachanda’s visit to India will be scheduled.
The delay in the visit is seen as a setback to Nepal-India relations, which have been strained in recent years. Both countries have been working to improve ties and strengthen economic and cultural cooperation. Prachanda’s visit was expected to boost these efforts and set the stage for further collaboration.
The by-polls, which took place in April, were seen as a significant setback for Prachanda’s ruling party, the Nepal Communist Party (NCP). The party lost in two key constituencies, which has led to internal turmoil and speculation of a possible split.
The postponement of the Prime Minister’s visit to India is also seen as a missed opportunity to address some of the key issues that have been causing tensions between the two countries. These include the border dispute and India’s alleged interference in Nepal’s domestic affairs.
Despite the delay, both countries have continued to engage in diplomatic efforts to improve ties. India’s Foreign Secretary, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, recently visited Nepal and met with top officials, including Prachanda’s counterpart, Sher Bahadur Deuba.
During the visit, Shringla reaffirmed India’s commitment to Nepal’s development and expressed hope for stronger ties between the two countries. He also discussed the border dispute and other key issues affecting the bilateral relationship.