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India Nepal border dispute: With his approval of Prime Minister Oli’s map update plan, Nepal’s ties to India will worsen | India News

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NEW DELHI: With Nepal’s main opposition party, the Nepali Congress, endorsing Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s constitutional amendment, the move to “update” the map of Nepal is likely to include Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani in the National emblem has the required two-thirds majority, a development that will worsen the crisis in India-Nepal relations.
If the amendment passes Parliament, it will serve to shore up Oli’s nationalist credentials and the accompanying anti-India stance, and help him avoid internal party challenges that have eroded his authority. The date to approve the amendment has not yet been set, but it is likely to be soon.
The Nepalese Congress had sought time for a party discussion, but the result was an inevitable conclusion according to Indian officials. Even if party leaders had doubts, the issue has fired cadres and public opinion. Going against popular sentiment would be a difficult task for political leaders of all stripes, and no party would want to be seen as disagreeing with the proposed amendment.
The Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) has already endorsed the bill, as have the Samajbadi Janata Nepal Party and the Rastriya Janata Nepal Party. Oli, who had been besieged by high-ranking leaders in the communist camp, had taken advantage of the formal opening of a path through India to the Lipulekh pass to increase sentiment about the border claim. The area in Pithoragarh has been a part of India since Independence and even before, but Nepal has raised claims-based arguments about the origin and tributaries of the Kali River.
An Indian official observed: “These are matters that unite the parties regardless of their ideological ties.” High-ranking Nepalese politicians have been threatened by their cadres on this issue. ” Despite Modi’s repeated contacts with Nepal, managing ties has been a challenge, the situation became more tense after Oli began to turn to China, even for his own political survival. He reportedly needed the active intervention of the Chinese ambassador in Kathmandu before leaders like Prachanda and Madhav Nepal silenced their growing opposition to the Prime Minister.
New Delhi has emphasized how useful it had been during the Covid crisis, but Oli declared in public speeches that the “Indian virus” was more lethal than the Chinese or Italian virus, diverting his own inadequacy to deal with the pandemic that has been a cause of serious concern in the Himalayan nation.
Oli obtained a political lifebuoy when Defense Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the Lipulekh Road on May 8, giving the prime minister the opportunity to wrap himself and his policy on the flag, without much thought for the future impact on a key relationship. Comments by the army chief, General M M Naravane, suggesting that Nepal was acting at the behest of China only added to the fire, and managed to anger the Nepalese army, which has been silent on the matter.
India is unlikely to back down and there will be no meeting of foreign affairs secretaries until Nepal reconsiders the amendment. On Thursday, the MEA spokesman in a rare statement spoke of creating “an environment of trust.”
“On the recent developments on the boundary issue, we continue to monitor the situation in Nepal. We note that this issue is receiving careful consideration in Nepal, taking into account its seriousness. India is open to collaborate with all its neighbors on the basis of sensitivity mutual and mutual respect, in an environment of trust. This is an ongoing process and requires constructive and positive efforts, “said Anurag Srivastava, MEA spokesperson.
The mood in New Delhi is gradually hardening: there is an acknowledgment that perhaps the Lipulekh path should not have been opened with such fanfare, and that the Gen Naravane should have been more discreet. But Nepal’s subsequent actions will take the two countries to a difficult place.

Times of India

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