Nepalese Deputy PM meets Modi, Oli says crisis will end

New Delhi/Kathmandu, Oct 19 (IANS) Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Monday in an effort to overcome the recent hiccups in bilateral ties.

Thapa, who is on a three-day visit to New Delhi, met Modi along with Nepal’s ambassador Deep Kumar Upadhyaya.

His meeting with Modi comes even as new Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli expressed confidence on Monday that the “issues” related to the blockade along the Indian border would be resolved soon.

Speaking with representatives of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) in Kathmandu, Oli said the issues, including the protests in various districts by Madhesis, will end at the earliest.

FNCCI president Pashupati Murarka said in Kathmandu that they had sought Oli’s intervention, reported the Kathmandu Post.

Oli said his government was making efforts to resolve the issues, including easing the transit of goods to Nepal and importing goods stocked in various Customs offices on the border with India through other routes.

Thapa on Sunday met Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

According to Nepal Times, Thapa “requested them to ease the supply” of freight trucks, blockaded on the Indian side due to the ongoing agitation by Madhes people in Terai opposed to the new Nepalese constitution.

Thapa told the Indian leaders about the problems facing Nepalis ahead of the festivals of ‘Dasain’ and ‘Tihar’. “But he carefully abstained from using the words like ‘blockade’ or ’embargo’,” said the Nepal Times.

The Madhes people, who comprise half the population of Nepal, say the new constitution denies them adequate representation and is heavily tilted in favour of the hill people.

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