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Modi’s visit to be religious, cultural: Nepali Minister

Kathmandu, May 1: Nepali Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa on Tuesday said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modis visit to the country on May 11 will be religious and cultural and there will be no political agreements.
Thapa said the Indian leader will fly directly to Janakpur to visit the Janaki Temple and will be welcomed by Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli. Modi will also take part in a civil felicitation programme at Bahra Bigaha area, the Kathmandu Post reported.
From Janakpur, Modi will fly to Mustang where he will pray at the Muktinath temple. He will then reach Kathmandu, according to the travel itinerary made public by the government.  Thapa and Home Secretary Dev Kumar Rai and chiefs of all three security agencies reached Janakpur on Tuesday to take stock of the security measures for Modi’s welcome. In 2014, Modi’s plan to enter Nepal through Janakpur was foiled over "security threats".
"His (Modi’s) visit this time is for religious purpose, not a political one. This visit will take the centuries-old social and religious relationship between Nepal and India to a new height," Thapa told the media. He said there will be no programmes for political agreements this time during the Indian Prime Minister’s visit. "Modi’s visit will help strengthen the religious and cultural relations between the two countries."
Modi will also lay a foundation stone of hydroelectricity Arun III project in Nepal on May 11. The 900 mw run-of-the-river project is developed by the Indian government and is slated to come into operation by 2020.
Last week, there was a blast at the office of hydroelectricity project that damaged the wall of the building in Tumlingtar, 500 km from Kathmandu. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita