Prachanda’s China trip will send negative message to India: Yadav

August 20th, 2008 - 3:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Aug 20 (IANS) Maoist chief and new Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda’s visit to China Saturday is going to send a negative message to India, an Indian politician has warned the former guerrillas.Sharad Yadav, leader of the Janata Dal-United party who headed a delegation of the Indo-Nepal Friendship Forum to Kathmandu Monday to attend the oath-taking ceremony of the new Nepali premier, suggested to the Maoist party that Prachanda should defer his trip to Beijing.

Chandra Prakash Gajurel, a Maoist lawmaker and chief of the party’s foreign affairs cell, says he had two meetings with Yadav, who requested that Prachanda postpone his Beijing trip.

“To go to China so soon after assuming office will send negative messages to India,” Yadav reportedly told Gajurel. “Prachanda should defer his trip.”

Asked if it was the Janata Dal-United’s feeling or that of the Indian government, Gajurel told IANS: “Yadav met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before coming to Nepal. So his suggestion is likely to have greater implications.”

However, despite the Indian “suggestion”, the Maoists said Prachanda will not cancel his Beijing trip.

“It is not a political visit,” Gajurel said. “China had also invited President Ram Baran Yadav to attend the inaugural ceremony of the Olympic Games. (He could not go) due to the political situation in Nepal. Now that they have asked the prime minister to attend the closing ceremony, we feel he should attend it.”

On Sunday, a day before Prachanda took oath of office, the Chinese ambassador to Nepal, Zheng Xianglin, called on the Maoist chief to offer his congratulations as well as convey his government’s invitation.

The invitation came before the invite extended by Manmohan Singh Monday when he congratulated Prachanda on becoming Nepal’s new prime minister.

While Prachanda’s predecessor Girija Prasad Koirala had made India his first port of call abroad after assuming office, Prachanda will start his foreign trips with China.

One of the reasons a coldness developed in the past between India and Nepal’s Shah kings was their close proximity to Beijing.

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