This is the first visit abroad by Tobgay after being elected Prime Minister of Bhutan in the second elections in the Himalayan country in July this year since it became a democratic state in 2008.

Tobgay is expected to hold comprehensive talks with Manmohan Singh on Saturday. He would also meet External Affairs minister Salman Khurshid and call on President Pranab Mukhrejee, said the sources.

After the results, Manmohan Singh had written to Tobgay, congratulating him on his People's Democratic Party's victory and promised India's ‘steadfast and unflinching support.’

He had also assured that New Delhi will remain ‘sensitive to Bhutan and its interests’ and said that he has instructed his officials to ‘prepare for the discussions on India’s plan for providing assistance to Bhutan.’

The Central Government had also clarified that it looks forward to ‘intensive consultations’ with Bhutan and had denied there was any political or other intention in the subsidy cut of kerosene and cooking gas to the Himalayan nation.

India had cut off the kerosene and cooking gas subsidy to Bhutan in June as the 10th Plan, under which India was providing such assistance, expired on June 30. Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh had recently visited Bhutan and according to the sources, the Bhutanese prime minister would be accompanied by his Foreign Minister Lyonpo Rinzin Dorje and senior government officials.

They are expected to meet various industry chambers in India during the visit. On Sunday, Tobgay is expected to meet Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.

Diplomatic relations between India and Bhutan were established in 1968 with the appointment of a resident representative of India in Thimphu. The basic framework of India-Bhutan bilateral relations is the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation of 1949 between the two countries, which was updated and signed during the visit of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck in February 2007.


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