Maintaining that India has never been prescriptive in the Constitution making process of Nepal, Ministry of External (MEA) official spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Thursday said that the Constitution making process is an internal matter of Kathmandu, adding it is for their people to discuss what is in their best interest.
Swarup made the statement during a press briefing on being asked if India will raise the issue of Madhes representation in Nepal’s Constitution during discussions with visiting Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
“As far as the constitution making process that you have said, this is an internal matter of Nepal. We have never been prescriptive in this regard. It is for the people of Nepal to discuss what is in their best interest,” Swarup said.
Swarup said that primarily reason for Dahal’s visit is for India to meet and greet him and to understand from him firsthand what are the priorities of the new Nepal government in terms of development and reconstruction.
“The idea is for us to meet Mr. Prachanda, convey to him our continues interest in the stability, peace and prosperity of Nepal and to learn from him firsthand what are his developmental priorities which are the areas he wants to focus on and where Indian assistance can provide maximum benefit to the people and government of Nepal,” he added.
He pointed out that India has already offered Nepal considerable assistance of one billion dollars in earthquake assistance of which very little has been utilized.
Visiting Nepali Prime Minister Dahal is in New Delhi at the invitation of his Indian counterpart President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Dahal’s visit to India is his first bilateral visit abroad after assuming office for the second time as Nepal’s Prime Minister on August 4 this year.
During his visit, Dahal would hold talks with the Indian leadership. He will also visit the Nathpa Jhakri hydropower project, a concrete gravity dam on the Satluj River in Himachal Pradesh. The primary purpose of the dam is hydroelectric power production and it supplies 1,500 megawatts of power.
Prime Ministers Modi and Dahal will meet for delegation-level talks at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on September 16.
That meeting will be followed by a signing of bilateral agreements and the issue of statement to the media. Among the dignitaries expected to call on the Nepal Prime Minister are External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Power Minister Piyush Goyal. Prime Minister Dahal would also call on President Pranab Mukherjee.