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Koirala much better, held talks with him in morning: Yechuri

Written by: Staff
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Kathmandu, Apr 29 (UNI) CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury today said he had met Nepal's Prime Minister-designate Girija Prasad Koirala this morning and the condition of the octogenarian leader was much better.

''We held talks this morning for over an hour...Mr Koirala wanted to sit longer but his doctors suggested he should not strain himself and take some rest,'' he told journalists here, adding that the talks had centred on various political challenges ahead.

''He is a senior and experienced leader...we discussed the various political challenges ahead, including the implementation of the roadmap,'' he said.

However, highly-placed sources told UNI that the discussions also included the economic package India proposes to offer to Nepal, which it wants to present in such a way that it does not hurt Nepalese sensibilities. The details of the package will be worked out in consultation with the new Nepali leadership and at their request.

Mr Yechury, who was briefed by Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran in New Delhi yesterday morning and also held discussions with Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the seniormost minister in the Prime Minister's absence, before he arrived here, said yesterday that India should not decide on the aid package unless the request comes from the Nepali leadership.

''The demand must come from them. We should not appear to be providing them with unsolicited help. That would hurt Nepali sentiments,'' he noted.

Mr Koirala is likely to be sworn in tomorrow after the original swearing-in ceremony, to be held yesterday, was deferred after two postponements. The ailing leader, who is said to be suffering from lung problems, including bronchitis and being administered antibiotics, was unable to attend the first sitting of the reinstated parliament yesterday as well as Thursday's victory rally at the Khula Manch and his legislature party meet the same day.

At the rally, supporters, incensed at his absence, had interrupted Nepali Congress Vice President Sushil Koirala's address, forcing him to cut short his speech. Attempts by other speakers to calm the crowd failed and it was only CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal's intervention that restored peace.

UNI VD SC RR KN1453

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