As soon as Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned Nepal's Prime Minister-elect K.P Sharma Oli and congratulated him in advance for his win in the just-concluded Nepal elections on Sunday, UML leadership spares no time to see the gesture as a renewing friendship with India.
"Indian Prime Minister Modi has invited Oli for visiting India after assuming office," Oli's Press Secretary Chetan Adhikari said in a press statement.
"Oli is said to have accepted the invitation from Prime Minister Modi and has also invited him to visit Nepal", the press statement added.
Senior UML leaders see this is a goodwill gesture on the part of Modi to mend the relations with CPN-UML leader Oli as he is going to lead the government for next two years.
“CPN-UML always gives high priority to its relations with India. Our leaders repeatedly expressed their views,” said CPN-UML leader Pradeep Gyawali. “ Inviting Modi to pay a visit to Nepal’s two religious sites Janakpurdham and Muktinath, CPN-UML leader KP Sharma Oli also reciprocated to Indian prime minister Modi’s offer.
Nepal, which held its elections in 2017, saw the majority of votes weighing to the left alliance, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) and the Maoist Centre.
Oli’s relations with India deteriorated after he vehemently opposed the blockade and signed several agreements including the transit agreement with China.
Though the elections were held in December and a new government was to be formed by mid-January, it missed its constitutional deadline.
Oli will be the Prime Minister for two and a half years, while the remaining term would be completed by Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, under a new deal signed by both the sides.
Although Nepal’s communist parties have groomed in the anti-Indian and anti-BJP slogan, the past trends have shown that their astronomical rises was possible during the BJP’s rule in India. Nepal’s Maoists intensified their violent insurgencies during the BJP’s first five-year rule in India. When BJP is in power, Maoist leader Prachanda became prime minister in the second time.
What a coincident, Nepalese communist secured an absolute majority in Nepalese parliamentary and provincial election during the rise of BJP and fall of secular forces in India.
In this context, the telephone conversation between Nepal’s PM in waiting for Oli and Indian Prime Minister Modi can change the game in bilateral relations.