Prachanda on first open visit to India in 25 years
Prachanda, whose original name is Pushpa Kamal Dahal, is accompanied by his deputy Baburam Bhattarai.india Updated: Nov 17, 2006 23:46 IST
After remaining underground for 25 years, Nepal Maoist chief Prachanda on Friday made his first public appearance in India as he arrived in New Delhi to attend a conference.
On his arrival here, he said he was excited to be in India openly.
Prachanda, whose original name is Pushpa Kamal Dahal, is accompanied by his deputy Baburam Bhattarai. They have come primarily to attend a Leadership Summit but will meet political leaders including CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat, NCP leader DP Tripathi and former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar.
"This is a very new experience for me and I am very excited," he told reporters in Kathmandu as he left for Delhi a day later than scheduled.
India had earlier indicated that it had no objection to Prachanda's visit here. He is believed to have visited India a number of times before but discreetly.
He has been able to move publicly as he is in talks with Nepal government aimed at ending their armed movement.
The GP Koirala government and the rebels are on the verge of signing a historic peace deal, which was to take place on Thursday but has been postponed till next Tuesday.
"I will convey the message that we are constructing a new Nepal," the rebel leader said.
Bhattarai told reporters in New Delhi that India's role in Nepal developments has been positive.