A file photo of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Nepal counterpart Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ before their meeting at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi. A five-member delegation of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) began its six-day India visit, from July 23 to 28, at the invitation of the BJP. Image for representational purposes only. | Photo Credit: PTI
A five-member delegation of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) began its six-day India visit, from July 23 to 28, at the invitation of the BJP. The delegation led by Pampha Bhusal will spend two days in Uttarakhand and comes one and a half months after the party leader and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ visited India.
An announcement from BJP’s Foreign Affairs Department in-charge Vijay Chauthaiwale said that the visit was part of the “Know BJP” initiative. The visit to Uttarakhand is an interesting element as the State was part of the border dispute with Nepal over the Kalapani-Lipulek-Limpiyadhura triangle that is claimed by Nepal. The relationship between the two sides was strained over the claims and counter-claims regarding the strategically important region that Nepal claims as part of its western territory.
The ‘Know BJP’ initiative is an external outreach of the BJP and follows similar interactions between the two sides from the past. Nepal’s major political parties have maintained historic contacts with political parties in the ‘Southern neighbour’. The Nepali Congress is known to have fostered such a connection with the Indian National Congress and the Maoists were in the past close to the Left parties of India. Left leaders such as D. Raja and Sitaram Yechury were part of India’s political-diplomatic outreach to Nepal when democracy replaced monarchy in Nepal during the 2005-08.
Subsequently, however, it took time to build the connection between the Maoists and the BJP which came from two different ideological folds. Mr. Prachanda, however, made symbolic gestures during his May-June visit when he prayed at the Mahakal temple in Ujjain which is a major Hindu pilgrimage center in India. The former ruler of Nepal Gyanendra and his predecessors were known to visit Hindu pilgrimage sites during their trips to India. In April-May 2021, Mr. Gyanendra, accompanied by his wife Komal Rajya Lakshmi visited Haridwar for the Kumbh mela.