Making her first overseas trip after assuming office, Nepal’s first woman President Bidhya Devi Bhandari will visit India in May seeking to reinvigorate bilateral ties. The relations between the two countries had deteriorated after the blockade at the border by the Madhesis community in Nepal, which is opposing the new constitution. The Madhesis, who are mostly of Indian-origin, have been demanding the new Constitution be amended. They have sought to include their concerns about adequate political representation and redrawing of federal boundaries.
The blockade had halted the supply of essential goods to landlocked Nepal from India. During the visit, a range of important issues are likely to be focused upon by both sides. She will also participate in the Simhasth Kumbh, which will be held in Ujjain in May.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that Ms Bhandari will be here at the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee and that India was looking forward to welcome her. Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had visited India in February 2016, who was also on his first foreign trip after assuming the office.
“India shares unique civilisational links with Nepal. Our age-old ties have been constantly nurtured by frequent exchanges of high-level visits. We look forward to welcoming President of Nepal Vidya Devi Bhandari next month in India on her first official visit abroad since taking office,” Mr Swarup said. She will be staying in Rashtrapati Bhavan during the New Delhi leg of her trip.
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