Cabinet approves President’s India visit

President Ram Baran Yadav

The Council of Ministers (CoM) has approved President Ram Baran Yadav’s three-day official visit to India- the first ever foreign visit of the first President of Nepal- scheduled to start from February 15.

A meeting of the CoM Wednesday approved the President’s India visit along with the members to be included in the visit. It has finalized a 27-member team to accompany the President to India.

The team will include tourism minister Sharat Singh Bhandari, secretary at the foreign ministry, secretary at the President’s office, the President’s advisors and representatives of state-owned media, Nepal Television, Rastriya Samachar Samiti and Department of Communications.

President Yadav will meet with Indian President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, among others during his India visit.

The President’s foreign visit had been delayed for some months as there was no functional Vice President to take over the former’s charge during his absence. Erstwhile Vice President Parmananda Jha was rendered defunct by a Supreme Court decision over the oath he took in Hindi.

However, less than two weeks before the President’s visit, the position of the Vice President is yet to be filled or made functional due to ongoing controversy.

The parliament has passed a resolution motion to reinstate Jha as President, but no further action has been taken.

During the meeting Wednesday, the cabinet also agreed on principle to observe Jestha 15 (by the Bikram Era), the day when monarchy was abolished and Nepal was declared a federal republic, as the National Day.

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