Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba will begin a five-day state visit to India on Wednesday, his first foreign trip after assuming office coming against the backdrop of the India-China standoff at Doklam near the Sikkim border.
Officials here said some memorandums of understanding are expected to be signed during the visit, and Deuba could seeking India’s support for implementing the country’s new Constitution and for holding key elections to the provincial and federal assemblies on November 26. These are the first polls to the federal Parliament since Nepal abolished the monarchy in 2008.
According to officials, the key issues that are expected to figure in Deuba’s meetings include connectivity, energy cooperation, including a breakthrough in the Pancheshwar hydropower project, infrastructure projects, Indian investment in Nepal, a treaty for extradition and mutual legal assistance, compensation to Nepali nationals affected by the construction of the Koshi Dam and inundation caused by dams and embankments on the Nepali side.
According to the news published in a various Indian newspaper, with China wooing Nepal in recent weeks, the visit is expected to give New Delhi an opportunity to seek an assurance that Kathmandu will remain sensitive to Indian concerns.
With China providing huge financial aid to Nepal, including projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, officials here indicated that New Delhi could be under pressure to announce some big ticket projects to counter Beijing’s growing clout.
Deuba is scheduled to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat on Thursday. He will call on President Ram Nath Kovind the same day. Deuba and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi will hold delegation-level talks at Hyderabad House followed by the signing of some agreements.
Some Indian ministers and political leaders are also expected to call on Deuba.
Deuba will also visit Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar during his visit.