Kathmandu, January 18
Nepal’s Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali returned home on Saturday after attending a meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission in New Delhi.
Most Nepalis had expected that the minister would meet Indian politicians including Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his three-day sojourn in the Indian capital. It was reported that Gyawali would talk about Nepal’s internal politics, which is currently at a crisis, with them.
However, apparently, Prime Minister Modi did not give Gyawali a time to meet. Nepalis are now discussing why was it.
Here are three possible answers:
1. Wait for the court verdict
The first possible reason is Nepal’s internal politics. As the Supreme Court is currently hearing several writ petitions filed against Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s decision to dissolve the House of Representatives, analysts believe Modi did not think it was appropriate to meet a leader of a faction supporting the dissolution whereas another faction of the same party is fighting against it.
“As Kathmanduites are saying that Modi supports Oli’s unexpected move, Modi denying a courtesy meeting with Gyawali, also the spokesperson of the Oli-led NCP, has a huge meaning,” analyst Geja Sharma Wagle says.
2. Desire to expose China
A former Indian ambassador to Nepal thinks it is because of China’s active involvement in Nepali politics that Modi refused to meet Gyawali. He says India, long accused of interference in Nepali politics, now wants to expose the Chinese interference by remaining silent.
3. Calculation of future moves
As Nepal’s political crisis is unfolding, India is busy calculating how it can best move to meet its interests with Nepal.
“New Delhi is silent but cautious to observe Nepali politics,” Wagle says, “No matter how keen Oli is to improve the ties, Modi is suspicious of the Chinese connection.”