President Bidya Bhandari, who is on a week-long state visit to India, received a guard of honour in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Bhandari was received by her Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. Also present in the ceremony was Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Bhandari, flanked by Mukherjee and Modi, told journalists that her visit would help strengthen Nepal-India ties.
Although Bhandari is a ceremonial head of state, analysts say Indian leaders will use her visit to send a message to Nepali leaders, ex-Prime Minister KP Oli, at a time when the Himalayan republic is preparing for first local polls in two decades despite opposition by Madhesi parties.
Bhandari’s previously-scheduled India visit was cancelled by the Oli government, which was preparing to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping in Kathmandu last year.
Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who ousted Oli and became Prime Minister himself, instead welcomed Indian President Mukherjee, and rescheduled Bhandari’s visit to New Delhi.
President Bhandari left for New Delhi on Monday and returning home on Friday.
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