Nepal government tables bill which alters political map, includes territories claimed by India, opposition supports move

A Constitution amendment bill was tabled by the Government of Nepal on Sunday which is aimed at altering the country’s map amid a border dispute with India.

Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Shivamaya Tumbahangphe, tabled the bill a day after the main Opposition Nepali Congress also backed the legislation.

It will be the second amendment to the Constitution.

Nepal recently released the revised political and administrative map demarcating the Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura, places it says India has claimed by building a road despite repeated objections, Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali had said.

India reacted angrily to the move saying such “artificial enlargement” of territorial claims will not be acceptable and asked the neighbouring country to refrain from such “unjustified cartographic assertion”.

After a dispute over territory with India, Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli had said that Virus from India “looks more lethal” than Chinese and Italian. Oli made the comments in a speech in the parliament, blaming India for the spread of coronavirus cases in his country.

“Those who are coming from India through illegal channels are spreading the virus in the country and some local representatives and party leaders are responsible for bringing in people from India without proper testing,” Mr Oli had said in his speech.

The Nepali PM had said in parliament that he will “bring back at any cost” the three territories. He also blamed India for infecting Nepal with coronavirus.

With the relationship between Nepal and India precariously placed on account of a dispute over land high in the mountains, Nepal’s Defence Minister had also accused the Indian Army chief of insulting his country. Naravane said that Nepal’s strident objections to a new road being built in Uttarakhand is “at the behest of someone else”. The allusion to China was clear.

In an interview to online news outlet The Rising Nepal, he said General Manoj Naravane’s indirect reference to alleged Chinese hand behind the diplomatic spat was “condemnable” and the Nepal army would fight if necessary.


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