Kathmandu: Nepal’s new Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has said that he looks forward to working closely with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to strengthen the relations between the two neighbouring countries as well as the people-to-people contacts.
Prime Minister Modi immediately congratulated Deuba after he won a vote of confidence in the reinstated House of Representatives on Sunday night.
In a tweet Modi said, “Congratulations Prime Minister @DeubaSherbdr and best wishes for a successful tenure. I look forward to working with you to further enhance our unique partnership in all sectors, and strengthen our deep-rooted people-to-people ties.”
Responding to Prime Minister Modi’s tweet, Deuba thanked his Indian counterpart for his congratulatory message and expressed his desire to work closely with him to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two neighbouring countries.
“Thank you very much, Prime Minister @narendramodi Ji, for your congratulatory note. I look forward to closely working with you to strengthen the relationship between our two countries and people,” Deuba tweeted late Sunday night.
Deuba, the 75-year-old President of the Nepali Congress won a trust vote in the reinstated lower House of Representatives and comfortably won it, averting a general election in the Himalayan nation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deuba, who was appointed as the prime minister as per the Article 76(5) of the Constitution on July 12 following Supreme Court’s intervention, secured 165 votes in the 275-member House on Sunday.
A total of 136 votes were required for Deuba to win Parliament’s confidence. He had to seek a trust vote within one month after being appointed as prime minister. However, in a surprise move, he sought a vote of confidence on the first day of the reinstatement of the House.
Deuba’s failure to win the trust vote in the House would have led to dissolution of the House and snap polls within six months in Nepal, which is facing an unprecedented health crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sunday’s outcome of the trust vote paves the way for Prime Minister Deuba to remain in office for next one and half year, until fresh parliamentary election is held, the Nepalese media reported.
Previously, Deuba has served as the prime minister on four occasions; first from 1995 to 1997, then from 2001 to 2002, again from 2004 to 2005, and from 2017 to 2018.
Nepal plunged into a political crisis on December 20 last year after President Bhandari dissolved the House and announced fresh elections on April 30 and May 10 at the recommendation of Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, amidst a tussle for power within the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).
On February 23, the apex court reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives, in a setback to Oli who was preparing for snap polls.
The bilateral ties came under strain under Prime Minister Oil after India opened an 80-km-long strategically crucial road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on May 8.
Nepal protested the inauguration of the road claiming that it passed through its territory. Days later, Nepal came out with a new map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territories. India reacted sharply to the move.
In June, Nepal’s Parliament approved the new political map of the country featuring areas which India maintains belong to it.