Modi congratulates Nepal PM-in-waiting KP Oli | Hindustan Times
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Modi congratulates Nepal PM-in-waiting KP Oli

Oli, as chairman of the CPN-UML — the largest party in the House — is expected to become the new Nepal prime minister.

world Updated: Jan 21, 2018 20:43 IST
HT Correspondent
Oli invited Modi to Nepal, urging him to visit the Ram Janaki temple in Janakpur and Muktinath in Mustang.
Oli invited Modi to Nepal, urging him to visit the Ram Janaki temple in Janakpur and Muktinath in Mustang.(Reuters File)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday telephoned CPN-UML chairman KP Oli on Sunday, congratulating the Nepalese politician widely seen as the country’s prime minister-in-waiting.

During their conversation, Modi and Oli shared new year wishes, according to statement released by the latter’s press secretary. Modi invited Oli to India, saying that he was “eagerly waiting to welcome” him, the statement said.

Accepting the invitation, Oli in turn invited Modi to Nepal, urging him to visit the Ram Janaki temple in Janakpur and Muktinath in Mustang — the Indian prime minister had expressed a desire to visit the two religious sites when the two leaders had met at the 2014 Saarc Summit.

The Left Alliance — a coalition of two communist parties — secured an absolute majority in elections to Nepal’s federal parliament and assemblies held in November and December. However, the formation of the new government continues to be in limbo.

Oli, as chairman of the CPN-UML — the largest party in the House — is expected to become the new prime minister and is likely to get support from the CPN(Maoist Centre), the second largest party. The two parties are also working towards a merger to create a single and strong communist centre.

Oli’s triumph in the polls has rattled India— after the 2015 blockade, he propped up an anti-India rhetoric, created a nationalist wave in Nepal, and reached out to China. During his last stint as premier, he also signed landmark transit treaty with China and hammered out several other understandings related to connectivity, trade, investment, and energy.

Modi’s call — his second to Oli over the period of a month — is being interpreted as an attempt to engage with the communist government, which New Delhi fears will tilt towards Beijing.