Even before the prime minister started planning an official visit to India, the palace was already preparing for the king's departure. But sources say the royal visit was postponed as it coincided with Indra Jatra. The king is now going three weeks after Deuba's tour. It has become tradition for Nepal's leaders to visit India and get blessing whenever a new government is formed. Girija Koirala was there last month, Madhab Nepal and Pasupathi Rana have just returned. While the visits were officially for discussing resolution of the Maoist problem, their intentions were to find help to restore their own power in governance as the Maoists still pose a major threat to all parties who form the government.
This is not the first time the king is visiting India since he assumed executive power. But this upcoming royal visit on invitation of Indian president Abdul Kalam is not just another ceremonial meeting, but will centre on Maoist conflict.
India has always taken advantage during Nepal's political crisis. When the people's revolution of 1990 was in full swing, India managed to get support to build the dam in Tanakpur. It also succeeded in ratifying Mahakali Treaty during the hung parliament in 1994.