Indian PM Modi pays homage to Lord Muktinath

Indian PM Modi pays homage to Lord Muktinath

The latest visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Nepal, his third since assuming office, is one the most under-reported foreign visits of the Prime Minister. He will hold talks with the country's top leadership to build mutual trust over the course of the two days om Nepal.

Thousands of people had gathered at the Janaki temple, established in Sita's honour in 1910, as Modi arrived there for prayers ahead of the inauguration.

Modi, with his counterpart K P Sharma Oli, will lay a foundation of the 900 MW hydro-power project via remote control from Kathmandu. "Without Nepal, India's faith, belief and history are incomplete".

Others demanded an apology from PM Modi for the 135-day blockade from September 2015 to February 2016 that crippled Nepal's economy and led to tensions between the two countries.

Tracing India-Nepal relations to the "Treta Yug" (the second of the four ages of humankind, according to Hinduism), he said Ayodhya's ruler Dasharath and Janakpur's king Janak had linked not only the two kingdoms but India and Nepal.

"We know that the regional development is connected with the development of Nepal. We have been there for each other in the most hard of times", he said. He said that the central and provincial governments of Nepal will select the project and implement it. Giving a push to religious tourism between the two countries, Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli inaugurated a bus service from Janakpuri to Ayodhya. Addressing the people of Nepal, PM Modi stated that Indo-Nepalese friendship is very special and the ties date back to Tretayuga, Vedic times.

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India is ready to partner with Nepal for cross-border connectivity and agreed to commence survey to link Kathmandu with the Indian Railways' survey soon. "It is Devniti... Changes in governments do not matter, our relations remain the same", he said in Maithali. Modi will fly to Mustang early on Saturday morning to offer prayers at Muktinath, and he will wrap up his visit after some political meeting in Kathmandu on Saturday itself.

The Nepal government will receive benefits worth Nepali Rupees 348 billion from the project as royalty, income tax, customs tariff and free energy in the concession period of 25 years. Modi will also be praying at Pashupatinath temple.

In the afternoon, PM Modi will travel to Kathmandu where he will meet Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun. "We have been there for each other in the most hard of times", Modi said at a civic reception by the Janakpur Sub-Metropolitan City at Barhabigha ground here.

Oli welcomed Modi upon his arrival at the temple complex.

The Indian leader described his visit as "that of a pilgrim rather than as a prime minister" and participated in the civic reception bestowed upon him by the Janakpur Sub-Metropolitan City at Rangabhumi Maidan.

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