PM Modi 'Influencing' Karnataka Elections By Visiting Nepal, Says Congress

Narendra Modi, Voting in Karnataka

Expediting the process to connect the eastern borders of the country with the Himalayan nation, the Indian government has forwarded a draft for conducting a feasibility study on the Raxaul-Kathmandurail project, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrapped up his two-day state visit to the neighbouring country. "When PM Modi had telephoned Prime Minister Oli upon his election as the Prime Minister of Nepal, they had discussed the visit then".

Meanwhile, amid speculation over the timings of PM Modi's visit, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on Saturday said the visit was decided soon after KP Sharma Oli's election as prime minister.

As Modi visited the revered Pashupatinath and Muktinath temples, AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot said, "This is not a good tradition in a democracy". He visited the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu, the most sacred and oldest temple to Lord Shiva in that country.

Prime Minister Modi, who is now on a two-day visit to Nepal to strengthen Indo-Nepal ties, visited Muktinath temple on Saturday and offered prayers. After praying, he also greeted and interacted with people waiting at the temple premises.

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Voting for 222 constituencies is being held in Karnataka on Saturday.

Oli also briefed Nepal's Parliament about Modi's visit. Prime Minister Oli had then expressed his desire for an early visit by Prime Minister Modi. The two prime ministers also explored methods to cut Nepal's trade deficit with India while providing easy entry to Nepali products including ginger and cardamom, Oli said.

The Congress and the BJP, however, continued campaigning - both subtly and directly - on social media throughout the day.

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