Nepal’s Maoist chief Prachanda to visit India

Amid prospects of finalisation of the deal among major political actors in the Himalayan state over its long-debated Constitution, Nepal’s  Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, is set to visit New Delhi on July 14-18 at the invitation from the government of India. However, the details of his visit haven’t been revealed yet.

The 60-year-old Maoist chief has been a vocal critic of India’s policy towards Nepal. He had earlier accused India of interfering in Nepal’s political affairs and dictating to the country’s leadership. His forthcoming visit at the invitation of the Indian government signals a softening of his stance towards New Delhi.

Earlier, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had visited Katmandu to participate in the International Donor’s Conference held on June 25, where she had also met the Nepalese leadership, including Prachanda. Ms Swaraj had urged the leaders to finalise the long-pending constitution, which will usher in a new chapter in Himalayan state’s quest for political stability and economic development.

Nepal’s major political parties, including Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN-Maoist and Madhesi Peoples Forum Democratic, have struck a landmark 16-point deal last month in order to settle contentious issues relating to the drafting of the constitution. It was presented in the constituent assembly last week, but a final decision has yet to be taken.

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