Kathmandu, Feb 19: Nepal's Prime Minister K P Oli today left for India, leading a jumbo 77-member delegation on a fence-mending visit that is aimed at normalising ties after turbulence caused by the country's new Constitution.
This would be Oli's first visit to a foreign country since taking over as prime minister some five months ago.
During the six-day visit, Oli will be accompanied by wife Radhika Shakya, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa, Finance Minister Bishnu Poudyal, Energy Minister Top Bahadur Rayamaji and Home Minister Shakti Basnet.
The council of ministers yesterday approved a list of 46 people for the prime minister's delegation and six officials will be included from the Nepalese Embassy in Delhi. There will be 25 members from Nepal's business community and parliamentarians representing various political parties, including two from Madhesi parties in the delegation.
No lawmaker from the main opposition party Nepali Congress has been included in the prime minister's entourage. The visit comes after a turbulence in bilateral ties over protests by Madhesis who share close family and cultural ties with Indians against Nepal's new Constitution.
Earlier this month, the Madhesis announced withdrawal of their protests including the border blockade. They had launched an agitation protesting against the new Constitution promulgated on September 20 last year, saying it failed to address their concerns over representation and homeland.
Jitendra Dev, vice president of Madhesi Peoples Rights forumDemocratic -- a ruling coalition partner -- and Dimple Jha, belonging to a smaller Madhesi party, are the two Madhesi lawmakers in Oli's delegation.
Chief Secretary of Nepal government Somlal Subedi and Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi would also accompany Oli. Oli is visiting at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from today, according to a press release issued by the Foreign ministry here. While in New Delhi, Oli will call on President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari.
He will talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Hyderabad House. He is scheduled to address the Indian Council of World Affairs at Sapru House and the Indian business community.
The Nepalese Prime Minister will inspect Tehri Hydropower Project in Uttarakhand and will also visit Bhuj in Gujarat to get acquainted with the post-earthquake reconstruction there. He will also head to Mumbai to meet business leaders before wrapping up his six day visit.