Will PM Deuba strongly present Nepal's agendas in India?
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is now on his five-day maiden India visit. It is the first foreign trip of Prime Minister Deuba in two months after he assumed the highest executive post. He left for New Delhi on Wednesday although a section of Nepali scholars were expressing their opinions that PM Deuba should not have visited India when tension between India and China was deepening over the border dispute at Doklam. Prior to his visit, PM Deuba sought suggestions from former Prime Ministers, diplomatic circles and others regarding the agendas he would put forth before the Indian leaders. Almost all leaders told him to maintain neutral policy on the border dispute between the two giant neighbours. It is widely feared whether the PM will be duped by the clever Indian bureaucrats by inserting the issue of Doklam in the joint communiqué that is normally issued at the end of the visit. Coincidentally, PM Deuba is visiting India just a few days after the floods and landslips caused an immense damage to life and property, especially in the Tarai, and the Indian dams built on the Nepal India border are blamed for inundation. As such, Prime Minister Deuba is likely to raise the issue of dams, mostly the controversial Laxmanpur dam and others. A meeting of the cabinet held on Monday also included the issue of Laxmanpur dam as one of the agendas during PM Deuba's India trip. Likewise, extradition treaty, commerce, trade, investment and Koshi dam are other issues during his visit. The Prime Minister has been reiterating that he would also raised the issue about the grant that India committed to provide to the reconstruction works. During his visit the PM will remain at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. He is scheduled to call on President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiha Naidu besides holding official meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is likely to ink at least seven understandings during his visit. The PM will also visit Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar before returning to Nepal on August 27. The Prime Minister is accompanied by his spouse Dr Arzu Rana, Deputy Prime Minister and foreign Affairs Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara, ministers, members of parliaments, secretaries and others.