After completing his two-day visit to Nepal, Vijay Chauthaiwale, a senior BJP leader and the party's head of the foreign affairs department, has recently paid a visit to Nepal. He explained various events of his hectic visit to Nepal and published on his Facebook shared with his friends.
Excerpts of His Diary
My Kathmandu visit was long overdue. But COVID prevented me from going there. Looking at the dynamic political situation in Nepal, there were some discussions on whether it's the right time to go or not. Nepal's finance minister and the general secretary of Nepali Communist Party Shri Bishnu Paudel and myself are in the regular friendly conversation for the last five years or so. He also wanted me to come to Nepal. Finally, I decided to go.
There was no specific reason why did I choose Thursday and Friday (10th and 11th Dec) to visit. Due to COVID, there is no direct flight between Delhi and Kathmandu. Therefore the only way to go there is to fly to an Indian city close to the Nepal border, cross the border by road and take another domestic flight within Nepal to reach Kathmandu. This takes almost a day to reach Kathmandu.
I decided to go by Delhi-Gorakhpur flight, cross the border and reach Bhairawa in Nepal by road (100 km) and then take Bhairawa -Kathmandu flight. But that day (Wednesday 9th) luck was not in my favor. I had an 8.50 am Delhi-Gorakhpur flight. The flight got delayed by more than three hours as Gorakhpur had dense fog. Finally, it flew but again it had to encircle on Gorakhpur skies for 40 min before landing. Then it had to wait for another 20 min on the tarmac as there was no parking slot.
I had a 2.30 pm flight from Bhairawa to Kathmandu. Due to this delay, I reached Gorakhpur at 2.30 pm. So I booked another flight at 5.30 pm and started from Gorakhpur by car. By the time I reached the India-Nepal border, I was told that Bhairawa airport is closed due to fog and all flights canceled. So I had two options. Either to stay in Bhairawa overnight and take a flight the next day Or to go to Kathmandu by car. As there was no guarantee that the flight would resume the next day, a friend of mine, who came to receive me and myself had a quick dinner and we started for Kathmandu at around 8 pm.
Bhairawa-Kathmandu is close to a 270 km distance. Everyone told me that we would reach in 7 hours. But I never knew that I would be traveling on one of the worst roads I have ever seen. The road is in pathetic condition (it's an understatement). In addition, very heavy traffic and a lot of broken-down trucks on road further adding to traffic jam. Though most of the vehicles were observing discipline, it was impossible to pick up speed. So it took me twice the predicted time and by the time I reached the hotel in Kathmandu, it was 9 am on 10th, almost 14 hours car journey.. every bone in my body was making its presence felt.
As per the original plan, I was supposed to meet our ambassador Shri Vinay Kwatra and Shri Bishnu Paudel, before meeting Prime Minister Shri K P Oli at 11 am. I had to reschedule the first two meetings. I briefly met Amb Kwatra and rushed to PM residence for meeting with him.
The next 36 hours were full of meetings, one after the other. I met the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Finance Minister of Nepal, ex-Speaker of the house from the ruling party then President and one more leader from main opposition party Nepali Congress and also two important leaders of the regional party from Madhesh. In addition, a few meetings with our sympathizers, Sangh karyakartas.
How to return was always a question. Bhairawa airport was still under the spell of fog. So I planned to go reverse towards the east to Bhadrapur, cross the border and enter India near Bagdogra and take a flight from there to Delhi. Fortunately, this time, mother nature was cooperative and I reached Delhi as planned. An interesting and eventful tour indeed.
Vijay Chauthaiwale is a senior BJP leader and the party's head of the foreign affairs department. Experiences of his hectic visit to Nepal published in his face book shared with his friends.
This is reproduced from his facebook blog and reproduce in Nayapatrika Nayapatrika