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RAW chief's Nepal visit stir controversy

<p id="content">At a time when Nepal's ruling communist party plunged into a fresh crisis, Samanta Kumar Goel, chief of Indian external spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing paid an unofficial visit to Kathmandu.

Goel was in the Nepal capital on Wednesday and is set to return to New Delhi on Thursday.

Leading a nine-member team, Goyal met with Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and former Prime Ministers Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Sher Bahadur Deuba, Madhav Kumar Nepal and other leaders, according to the Nepal media reports.

Prime Minister Oli is facing a fresh crisis inside the party after two senior party leaders, Dahal and Nepal challenged Oli's working style as prime minister and party chairman.

Though the eight month long dispute between Oli and Dahal was patched up in August, the crisis has rebound last week with a Chief Minister facing no confidence motion.

Chief Minister of Karnali province Mahendra Bahadur Shahi who is close to Dahal is facing a no-confidence motion from the Oli faction.

The issue of no-confidence motion has opened up fresh cracks inside the party.

There is also apprehension in New Delhi that the present regime in Kathmandu is tilting towards China that New Delhi wants to check through its different apparatus.

Some party insiders told IANS that Oli wants to patch up the difference between him and Dahal with the help of Indian support so Goel was in town.

Surya Thapa, press advisor to the Prime Minister, though denied any meeting between Oli and Goel. The mission of Goel's visit is yet to known but sources said that Goel was invited by a section of ruling Nepal Communist Party that is facing internal stress.

The visit of Goel comes just ahead of the visit of Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane who is scheduled to arrive for a three day visit likely on November 3.

The sudden visit of Goel though has sparked fresh controversy in Nepal with some media criticising Oli for meeting head of spy agency secretly.

Just read a news about the visit of RAW chief and his meeting with Nepali leaders including Prime Minister Oli, Nepali Congress leader, Dhanraj Gurung said, "Nepal is a sovereign and independent country and the visit of Goel hit out the sovereignty of the country".

Nayapatrika, a Kathmandu based daily made a sensational headline: Nationalism has surrendered with RAW boss. "Chief of RAW landed in Kathmandu in an air force plane and met with the prime minister and former prime minister. This shows country is ruined diplomatically and this is a shame."