The Nepal government should take all stakeholders into confidence before going ahead with polls to local bodies, India’s outgoing ambassador Ranjit Rae suggested on Friday.
Speaking at a farewell programme organised by the Reporters’ Club Nepal, Rae said, “It is my request to the government of Nepal to take all the political parties into confidence before going for the polls which is going to take place on May 14.”
He added, “India, as the largest democracy in the world, supports every move and effort made for strengthening democracy in Nepal. It has been our policy continuously over a period of time.”
India has consistently said since Nepal’s new Constitution was promulgated in 2015 that all sections and stakeholders should be on board in processes related to its implementation. Rae’s remarks were first reaction from an Indian official to the Nepal government’s announcement regarding the polls to local bodies.
After a stint of three-and-half-years in Nepal, Rae is scheduled to leave Kathmandu on March 1. India has not yet named his successor.
The diplomatic assignment in Kathmandu is a prized positing for an Indian diplomat as the job is “challenging, complex and sometimes frustrating”, Rae said.
India-Nepal relations have always been positive and both sides should make efforts to strengthen ties in the fields of economics and social-cultural contacts.He stressed the need for more economic cooperation and people-to-people contacts.
“An agreement of Rs 34 billion has been made for constructing the Mahakali bridge and 15 roads to develop people-to-people contacts. When the construction of the Mahakali bridge is completed, it will especially benefit people of the far western region in Nepal and Uttarakhand. This bridge will bring a positive change for the people of these areas,” he added..
“Another issue is rail connectivity. Minister for railways Suresh Prabhu recently announced he wants to build rail links connecting Kolkata and Delhi to Kathmandu,” he said. A framework for executing India-backed projects in Nepal has been made and some progress will be seen soon, he added.