External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will arrive here on Thursday on a two-day visit during which she will hold talks with Nepal’s top leadership, days ahead of the formation of a new Left alliance government. Swaraj’s visit comes at a time when Nepal successfully concluded three phase of provincial, local and parliamentary elections as part of its efforts to implement the new Constitution that was promulgated in September 2015. Nepal’s Left alliance is preparing to form a new government which is expected to be headed by CPN-UML chief and former prime minister K P Oli. Swaraj will be the first senior Indian minister to visit Nepal after the conclusion of elections to local bodies, provincial assemblies and federal Parliament. “This will be a high level goodwill visit keeping with the tradition of regular exchange of political visits between India and Nepal,” said the Indian embassy sources. Swaraj will call on President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba before flying back to New Delhi on Friday. She will also meet Oli, who through a letter congratulated Prime Minister Narenra Modi on the 69th Republic Day of India. Swaraj will also meet CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman and former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.
The high-level visit from India is being considered significant in the political spectrum here. Prime Minister Modi had congratulated Oli for the success achieved by his party in the elections. The clear victory to the Left alliance — CPN-UML led by Oli and the CPN-Maoist led by Prachanda — was not seen as a positive development for India given that Oli had publicly criticised New Delhi for interfering in Nepal’s internal matters and accused it of toppling his government last year.