PM Modi's visit to Sita's birth place in Nepal cancelled
Kathmandu/New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Janakpur, the revered Hindu religious site in Nepal, has been cancelled at the last minute due to opposition by some political parties peeved over their non-inclusion in the preparatory committee, government sources said today.
Modi will be leaving on November 25 to attend the 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu on November 26-27. “I was informed by the Foreign Ministry here about the cancellation of Modi's visit to the religious site,” said Bimalendra Nidhi, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport and also chief of the preparation committee in Janakpur.
However, no information has yet been received about the cancellation of his proposed visit to Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Buddha, and another sacred Hindu pilgrimage site, Muktinath, located in the southern mountainous region. Pacts on tourism, power, railways are likely to be inked during the three-day visit of Prime Minister Modi.
Preparations were in the final stage for Modi's visit to Janakpur, the birth place of Sita. Modi was supposed to attend a civic reception in Janakpur during the visit. The cancellation of Modi's visit to Janakpur comes in the wake of protests by opposition parties, mainly the UCPN-Maoist and the Madhesi parties, who were not included in the local preparation committee.
The UCPN-Maoist and Madhes-based parties also organised protest rallies against the preparation committee formed by the ruling parties to welcome Modi in Janakpur during his proposed visit.
Modi was supposed to directly arrive in Janakpur by land before flying to Kathmandu to attend the SAARC summit next week.
The opposition political parties were opposing the preparations made by the committee headed by Nepali Congress leader and Transport Minister Nidhi, who was elected from Janakpur to the Parliament.
“I was saddened by the decision about cancellation of Modi's visit, as preparations for the visit was in the full swing by the people of Janakpur,” Nidhi said in the statement. The decision of cancellation of the visit comes after some local political groups staged demonstration against the preparation of the visit, Nidhi said.
“The Unified CPN-Maoist and some Madhesi parties were not only staging rallies to oppose the preparations made by the organising committee, but they have also threatened to form a parallel preparation committee in connection with Modi's visit to Janakpur,” the statement said.
In his statement, Nidhi has also condemned the activities of the Maoists and the Madhesi parties “who had threatened to disrupt the visit programme of Modi in Janakpur.”