The Congress on Saturday suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Nepal visit might have been planned with an eye on the Karnataka elections, claiming that his temple visits over the past two days could influence voting patterns. The external affairs ministry, however, refuted this allegation and said Mr Modi's visit to Nepal was decided soon after K.P. Sharma Oli's election as the Prime Minister.
Nepal's Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali says he condemns the statement made by Province 2 Chief Minister Lalbabu Raut during a civic felicitation programme in honour of visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that they were struggling "against the discriminatory constitution". Alleging violation of the model code of conduct, Gehlot said Modi's temple visits in Nepal were being aired on the day of polling in Karnataka. When Karnataka is polling today, he has gone to Nepal and is worshipping in temples there, as he could not do so in the southern state due to elections,"said Mr. Gehlot".
"This is not a good trend for democracy".
After a high-voltage campaigning for weeks, voting for 222 of the 224-member Assembly was being held in Karnataka on Saturday.
Senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said that Modi was trying to influence Hindu voters back home by offering prayers at temples in Nepal.
"So that's how the sequence has been, first Prime Minister Oli visited India and now PM ( Modi) is in Nepal", PTI quoted Gohale saying.
So far, the Prime Minister has visited three temples, including Janakpur's Janki Temple, during his two-day visit.
The two leaders also explored methods to cut Nepal's trade deficit with India while providing easy entry to Nepali products including ginger and cardamom, Oli said.
"It clearly shows that Modi came to know that BJP would be defeated".