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India Committed To 'Samriddha Nepal, Sukhi Nepali': PM Modi Statement

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Modi's visit came a little more than a month after Oli visited New Delhi.

He will start his visit from the historic city of Janakpur, the birthplace of Sita, tomorrow morning.

He also paid a visit to Janaki temple earlier and offered special prayers.

Kathmandu: Prior to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Ram Janaki temple in Nepal, temple priests have made elaborate arrangements inside the premises. If reports are to be believed, almost 11,000 security personnel have been deployed.

-PM Modi will leave for Kathmandu in the afternoon of Saturday.

National flags of Nepal and India are placed right in front of the temple.

He will later travel to Kathmandu to inaugurate the construction of an India-funded hydropower plant with his Nepali counterpart K.P. Sharma Oli.

In the evening, Modi will hold delegation-level talks with Oli.

The prime minister exuded confidence that his visit will further cement people-centric partnership with Nepal on the basis of mutual benefit, goodwill and understanding. Modi will attend a reception hosted by Ambassador Puri in his honour. He will hold bilateral talks with Oli and will also meet the top political leaders of the neighboring Nepal.

PM said his visit "reflects the high priority, India, and personally I, attach to our age-old, close and friendly ties with Nepal". "Still, the visit has symbolic significance".

And, there is confusion about whether the Modi visit reflects a course correction in India's policy towards Nepal.

Modi will directly land in Janakpur where he will be accorded a public reception including a guard of honor by the Nepalese army.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Friday tweeted that Modi's Nepal visit would consolidate the principle of neighbourhood first and Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. "They are living testimony to the ancient and strong cultural and religious ties between the peoples of India and Nepal", he said.

India had offered these mega projects during Oli's visit here last month, seen as a move to counter China's efforts to expand influence over Kathmandu by offering various infrastructure projects.

India never officially acknowledged the blockade, coming in the wake of Nepal's new constitution, which India feared could spur violence that might spill across borders.

The Indian government has identified 15 destinations in India for development under the Ramayana Circuit theme; Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur & Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh), Sitamarhi, Buxar & Darbhanga (Bihar), Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh), Mahendragiri (Odisha), Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh), Nashik & Nagpur (Maharashtra), Bhadrachalam (Telangana), Hampi (Karnataka) and Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu).

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