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Nepal set to welcome Modi

Kathmandu, May 10: Nepal is all set to welcome Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a two-day official visit starting on Friday. This will be Modi’s third tour to Nepal. Preparations were in the final stages in Janakpur, Kathmandu and Muktinath where the Indian leader will be visiting.
Modi will begin his trip from Janakpur where he will offer special prayers at the Ram Janaki Mandir, making him the first Indian Prime Minister to do so with “khodasopachar” rituals. Before Modi, former Indian Presidents Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, Gyani Zail Singh and Pranab Mukherjee had performed these special prayers employing the “khodasopachar rituals”, said Ram Tapeshwar Das Vaishnav, the priest at the Janaki Temple. Later, Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and Modi will jointly inaugurate the Ramayan Circuit Bus Route connecting Janakpur (Sita’s birthplace) to Ayodhya (Ram’s birthplace). The Ramayan Circuit is one among the 13 tourist circuits under the “Swadesh Darshan Scheme” of India.
Modi will then be offered a civic reception at the Bahrabigaha’s Rangabhoomi ground where he is likely to address the people gathered to welcome him. After Janakpur, Modi will fly to Kathmandu to hold meetings with Oli, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun and leaders of the major political parties.
The Indian Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone of Arun III hydroelectricity project in Sankhuwasabha district of eastern Nepal, undertaken by India’s Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam, through video conferencing.  On May 12, Modi will visit Muktinath temple at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass in Mustang district to pay obeisance and also announce a “surprise gift” for its development and reconstruction. Modi will also be praying at Pashupatinath temple. Security has been tightened in the country and as many as 11,000 security personnel from both countries will be deployed during the Indian leader’s visit. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita