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Parties coach Prachanda before India visit

world Updated: Sep 13, 2008 00:11 IST
Anirban Roy

Nepal’s major political parties have suggested to Prime Minister Prachanda not to strike any new deal with New Delhi without wider consultation during his upcoming visit to India.

Prachanda is leading a 42-member delegation to India during his five-day first political foreign. The visit is scheduled to start from Sunday.

The parties have advised the insurgent-turned-PM to take up bilateral issues with India, and strictly advised him not to sign any agreement with New Delhi.

“The PM should not strike any new deal that could have long-term consequences without wider consultation and national consensus,” Nepali Congress leader Ram Sharan Mahat said.

Mahat, former Finance Minister said that they have advised Prachanda to focus on issues of immediate concern as this is a goodwill visit. Issues like review of the Indo-Nepal Friendship Treaty of 1950 and an alternative to the Koshi Barrage need to be discussed in details, he added.

Jhala Nath Khanal, general secretary of the Communist Party of Nepal (UML) has suggested the PM to raise the border dispute issues with New Delhi. There are reports that there are 66 dispute areas along the 1,750-km-long border.

As per the schedule, Prachanda will be in New Delhi from September 14 to 18. His official meetings will begin from September 15, officials at the PMO said.

The Nepali PM would meet President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday, the officials claimed. He is also scheduled to meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani.

Prachanda is being accompanied Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav, Information and Communication Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Commerce and Supplies Minister Rajendra Mahato and Water Resource Minister Bishnu Poudel.