Nepal’s major opposition parties have tilted towards PM Oli’s move to constitutionally update Nepal’s map to include the disputed territories of Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani.
Nepal’s Law Minister, Shiva Maya Tumbahamphe has tabled the country’s new political map’s constitutional amendment in Nepal’s House of Representatives or Lower house of Nepali Parliament today on 31st May.
Post the passing of the controversial constitutional amendment by the Nepalese Parliament and then by the President, it will equip the country with a constitutional backing to the new map that depicts the alleged Indian territories of – Lipulekh, Kalapani, Limpiyadhura as Nepali territories.
The Amendment Likely To Be passed
Toeing the line further for worsening Indo-Nepal relations, Nepal chief opposition party, the Nepali Congress (NC) along with other minor parties like the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), Samajbadi Janata Party Nepal and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal have decided to fully back PM Oli’s move to grant constitutional status to the updated map of Nepal.
After securing the crucial support of Nepali Congress, the Nepal Communist Party-led government will secure more than two-thirds majority in the parliament for getting the new map guaranteed constitutionally through the amendment.
It is reported that, since the issue has gathered an enormous nationalistic sentiment along with vast public support, therefore, overstepping the popular sensibility might become equalled to low electoral prosperity.
The TOI reports that an Indian official has observed that “these are issues that bind parties together irrespective of their ideological moorings. Senior Nepali politicians have been threatened by their cadres on this issue.”
Nepal’s new map
The new political map that Kathmandu had formulated earlier this month depicts Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani as a part of its territory, while the regions are also claimed by New Delhi as a part of the Uttarakhand state of India.
The spat with Nepal picked pace when India inaugurated an 80 kilometres long road which originates from Ghatiabgarh and terminates at Lipulekh Pass, a disputed region claimed both by India and Nepal.
Post the inauguration, hundreds of youths in different cities of Nepal began demonstrating against the alleged encroachment by India. The Nepal Ministry of Foreign Affairs also brought out a sharp objection, which mentioned that “In light of this development (the road), the Government of Nepal called upon the Government of India to refrain from carrying out any activity inside the territory of Nepal.”
A few weeks later after, Nepal came up with the new map officially including the disputed territories. Nepal has accused India of taking unilateral actions like building roads in the disputed Kalapani territory.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs had stated last week that, “India is open to engaging with all its neighbours on the basis of mutual sensitivity and mutual respect, in an environment of trust and confidence. This is a continuous process and requires constructive and positive efforts.”
The Chinese connection
As EurAsian Times had previously reported, experts on the issue had called a leaf out of the Chinese books regarding the Indo-Nepal conflict.
It was reported that major defence experts including India’s Army General hinted at the involvement of China in Nepal’s politics as the road holds a strategic value for being the first road that provides connectivity to the Indian troops deployed on the Line of Actual Control.
However, Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali had told Indian media that “Nepal would never allow any sort of interference in its internal matters. We have good relations with China that’s true, but that does not mean Nepal picks a side.
Nepal always pursued neutral foreign policy. We have good relations with two foreign neighbours. So, to attribute anything between Nepal and India to a China factor is completely wrong.”