Defying customs, Bhutan Parliament claps for Modi!

Indian PM Modi unveils the plaque to inaugurate the Supreme Court of Bhutan as his Bhutanese counterpart Tobgay watches at Thimphu in Bhutan

Yesterday’s official program dossier of Bhutan government mentioned that the members will not clap during visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address in the Parliament because clapping is not an act of appreciation in Bhutanese culture. But the members of the Parliament, present Royalty clapped with full appreciation after Modi’s address was over where he assured that Bhaarat – Bhutan friendship will continue despite administrative changes. Strong Bhutan means strong Bhaarat, and vice versa, said Modi.

India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj too termed the trip a great success and a strong show of committed friendship between the countries. “We are deeply touched by the friendly gestures, the monarchy’s leadership and the people of Bhutan. We are told that K5 Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck personally supervised all the arrangements. The Bhutan Prime Minister went out of his way, and he personally received our Prime Minister at the airport, and the children and ordinary people from Paro to Thimphu came with traditional offerings of fruits and flowers.”

Modi inaugurated the Supreme Court building of Bhutan built with India’s cooperation. He has also laid the foundation stone to the 600MW Kholongchu Hydro- electric project, a JV between India and Bhutan. India is helping Bhutan set up six Hydro power projects to produce 2120 Mega Watt power, which will be mostly bought by India.

Relations with Bhutan suffered about a year ago, as China tried to win the affection of the Himalayan Kingdom with various projects. India briefly suspended relations with the country, suspending kerosene exports to the country which hurt the nation severely. The relations henceforth have been brought back to normalcy. With Modi choosing Bhutan for his first visit, the bond will surely attain new strength.

Medaram Jathara

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