India hopes for political consensus, stability in Nepal

New Delhi, Dec 26 (IANS) Amid the persisting political drift in Nepal, India Wednesday said it would welcome "whatever consensus" emerges among key political players in the Himalayan country and underlined its commitment to supply electricity to the power-starved country.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held wide-ranging talks with Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav, who is on a six-day visit to India, and underlined India's enduring commitment to the development and stability of the neighbouring country. He also expressed hope that India would welcome consensual political settlement that will help spur peace and prosperity in that country, said official sources.

In his talks with Yadav, President Pranab Mukherjee underscored that India's relations with Nepal was deep rooted and unique with no parallel.

"It is in India's interest that Nepal progresses as a stable, secular, democratic republic," Mukherjee told Yadav.

"It has always been India's endeavour to support peace, stability and prosperity in Nepal, in accordance with their wishes. As a close friend and neighbour, India will continue to do its best to assist Nepal in its socio-economic development," he added.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid also called on Yadav. "There was a discussion on the current situation in Nepal," sources said.

"The minister emphasised that it is in India's interest that Nepal progresses as a stable, secular and democratic republic and indicated that India would welcome whatever consensus emerges among Nepali political actors," the sources added.

Khurshid lauded Yadav as "a great friend of India" and stressed that his support "had played a crucial role in strengthening India-Nepal relations".

Khurshid apprised the Nepalese president on "efforts being made to supply additional electricity to Nepal during the lean season".

The minister said that short-term measures to augment grid connectivity of 40-55 MW had been completed and added that India was working to increase this.