Nepal President Ram Chandra Paudel to boost Nepal-India ties

World Tuesday 28/March/2023 07:48 AM
Nepal President Ram Chandra Paudel to boost Nepal-India ties

Kathmandu: With Ram Chandra Paudel's election to the post of Nepal's President and the associated change in the political power elite in the country, the current arrangement seems better placed in strengthening India-Nepal relations even further, Pardafas reported.

Although a more moderate Nepali Congress leader Paudel as the President of Nepal will be preferable for India, however, India never interferes in the internal affairs of another, it reported. Ram Chandra Paudel, a veteran leader of the Nepali Congress party, has been chosen as the country's new President. With 33,802 votes, Paudel easily defeated his opponent Subash Chandra Nembang of the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML), who received only 15, 518 votes

It should be noted that India and Nepal cooperate closely on issues of mutual interest and are committed to deepening their partnership in the spirit of Sabka saath, Sabka vikas (Collective efforts, Inclusive growth), Neighbourhood first policy and the cardinal principle of ancient India that still prevails 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.'

India's first priority remains a politically stable Nepal duly respecting the decision of Nepal's citizens and would look for enhanced developmental partnership and cooperation with the political dispensation of any hue and colour, Pardafas reported.

According to a report published in Pardafas, Nepal is still struggling to recover from the economic troubles brought on by COVID-19, which led to a drop in the number of foreign tourists coming to climb the country's mountain peaks and hike its trails. Reviving tourism is necessary to bolster Nepal's economy,

Since the country's conversion to a republic in 2008, Nepal, a nation in the Himalayas, has had three presidential elections.

An Electoral College made up of two houses of the federal parliament and seven provincial legislators chooses the president of Nepal. 550 members of the Provincial Assemblies of the seven provinces and 332 members of Parliament make up the total number of voters for the election of the president, according to Shaligram, the spokesperson for the Election Commission.

According to a report published in Pardafas, Poudel, a candidate supported by an eight-party coalition that included the Nepali Congress and the (Maoist Center), was declared the winner after receiving the support of 214 members of the parliament and 352 members of the provincial assemblies.

Notably, India-Nepal relations reached a turning point when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Lumbini, where Gautama Buddha was born, on Buddha Purnima last year.

This outreach by the Indian Head of Government not only showed special respect and appreciation for the common culture of the two neighbours but also signified the importance and emphasis being devoted to repairing the ties at the highest levels.

With this visit also came the joint India - Nepal plan to include Lumbini in the Buddhist circuit being promoted by Indian tour operators. This will be in addition to the project to build the Ramayan Circuit that already links various sites of the two neighbouring countries. The laying of the foundation stone for an Indian monastery by the Indian PM helped further bolsters the relations.

Not just on the front of soft power ties, but the infrastructure and other collaborations also saw the light of the day.

Nepal offered India to take up the languishing West Seti hydropower project of Nepal. In the field of education, IIT Madras and Kathmandu University collaborated on offering a joint degree programme while the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Lumbini Buddhist University decided to establish a Dr Ambedkar Chair for Buddhist Studies.

India has also provided military assistance and training to the Nepal Army and a major source of investment destination and employment opportunities for Nepalese. It has been an important source of development assistance to Nepal relentlessly.

It has extended several lines of credit to Nepal over the years and provided grants for various development projects and support for various infrastructure projects as well, such as roads, bridges, hydropower plants, health facilities, and educational institutions and improvement of human development indicators, and support Nepal during adversities such as during 2015 earthquake.

Nepal's Ambassador to India, Shankar Prasad Sharma lauded the relationship between Indian and Nepal Army on the 260th Nepali Army Day celebration here in the Embassy of New Delhi.

Speaking to ANI, the envoy highlighted the relationship between the two armies that started from the very beginning of the establishment of its army.

"This is the 260th Army day of Nepal. Nepal army is the oldest army in South Asia. We are very proud of it and they are also serving in the Indian Army. Nepal-India army relations started long time ago from very beginning of the establishment of the Nepali army. Many of these people are trained in India", said the envoy.

Further speaking about the support given by Indian Army, the envoy stressed on the historical relationship that he believes will be strengthened over the years to come.

"Logistics, medical supply, vaccines have been provided by the Indian army and then we have seen the historical relationship between our countries especially talking about the Army relationship and we hope that it will be further strengthened over the years", he added.