Nepalese lower house of parliament passes bill to redraw political map
The main opposition parties, including the Nepal Congress (NC), the Rastriya Janata-Nepal Party (RJP-N) and the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) voted in favor of the government bill to amend Annex 3 of the Constitution to update the national emblem incorporating the new controversial Map.
A two-thirds majority of the 275-member lower house had to pass the law.
The bill will now go to the National Assembly (NA), where it will undergo a similar process.
The NA will have to give legislators 72 hours to submit amendments against the provisions of the bill, if applicable.
After the National Assembly approves the bill, it will be submitted to the President for authentication, after which the bill will be incorporated into the Constitution.
On June 9, Parliament unanimously approved a proposal to consider the bill to pave the way for passing the new map.
The government formed a nine-member team of experts on Wednesday to collect historical facts and evidence related to the area.
Diplomats and experts, however, questioned the government movement, asking why the working group was formed when the map has already been published and approved by the Cabinet.
Ties between India and Nepal were strained after Defense Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a strategically crucial 80km highway connecting the Lipulekh Pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on May 8.
Nepal reacted sharply to the opening of the highway, claiming that it passed through Nepalese territory. India rejected the claim, claiming that the road is entirely within its territory.
Nepal last month released the revised administrative and political map of the country claiming for strategically key areas. India has maintained that these three areas belonged to it.
India severely asked Nepal not to resort to any “artificial enlargement” of land claims after Kathmandu released the new map.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli earlier this month said his government will seek a solution to the Kalapani problem through diplomatic efforts and dialogue based on historical facts and documents.
“We will return to the Indian occupied lands in a dialogue,” Oli said as he answered questions in Parliament on Wednesday.
(With contributions from the agency)
Video: Nepal’s lower house of parliament clears new map