President Bhandari was on Wednesday sworn in as Nepal's President for the second time. She garnered over 74 percent of the votes to be re-elected, while her rival Nepali Congress' Kumari Laxmi Rai hardly drew 25 percent of the votes.
According to the Election Commission of Nepal (ECP), President Bhandari of the Left Alliance garnered 39,275 votes and Rai secured 11,730 votes.
With this, President Bhandari became the first President of federal Nepal and also the first Nepali President to be re-elected.
As close neighbours, India and Nepal share a unique relationship of friendship and cooperation characterised by deeply rooted people-to-people contacts of kinship and culture. Both countries share close linguistic, marital and religious ties respectively.
Nepal was ravaged by a massive earthquake and continuous aftershocks in 2015, killing over 9,000 people and rendering thousands of people homeless. Therefore, India has granted Nepal an amount of USD 250 million for the post-earthquake reconstruction and will help in the construction of nearly 50,000 houses in the Himalayan nation.
Also, the two countries signed an agreement in 2014, where India will build a 900 MW hydropower plant in Nepal at a cost of USD 1 billion, to help the latter overcome the erratic power supply, which is a major problem there.
Despite the cordial relations between the two countries, political issues and border disputes have strained relations since late 2015.
Nepal promulgated its new constitution in 2015. However, the Madhesis, the Janajatis and the Tharus, which are smaller communities residing in the plains of Nepal were left out in the new constitution and were considered marginalised groups. India had requested Nepal to recognise the Madhesis in the constitution.
When Nepal failed to recognise the Madhesis and other groups, despite repeated requests, the Madhesis in particular, then blockaded the border points, fuelling months-old economic blockage. Nepal accused India of deliberately worsening the embargo by not allowing vehicles to pass from check-points where no protests were held.
K.P. Sharma Oli, the current Prime Minister of Nepal, had took a defiant stance against India's position to amend Nepal's constitution and signed trade and transit treaties with China to counter Indian dependence when he was at the helm in 2015.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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