India carefully monitoring political situation in Nepal: Sources

Last Updated 27 May 2020, 17:20 IST

India is carefully monitoring the situation in Nepal, government sources said on Wednesday after the Nepalese government deferred its plan to bring in a constitutional amendment to update its new map which depicted Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as part of the country.

India views that the larger debate on the matter underlined the seriousness of the issue, they said adding it also demonstrated the value being attached to relations between Nepal and India.

In the midst of a border dispute with India, Nepal last week released a revised political and administrative map of the country laying claim over the strategically key areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura.

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".

"We are carefully following developments in Nepal. Border issues are sensitive by nature and require trust and confidence to be resolved to mutual satisfaction," said a source.

Nepal delayed a discussion in Parliament to amend the Constitution for updating the country's map after Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli decided to seek national consensus on the issue.

The Constitution amendment proposal was to be tabled in Parliament on Tuesday but it could not be done after Oli said that he wanted to hold an all-party meeting to discuss the matter.

According to Nepal's law, a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority vote.

The ties between the two countries came under strain after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a 80-KM-long strategically crucial road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on May 8.

Nepal reacted sharply to the inauguration of the road claiming that it passed through Nepalese territory. India rejected the claim asserting that the road lies completely within its territory.

Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali earlier this month summoned Indian Ambassador Vinay Mohan Kwatra and handed over a diplomatic note to protest against India inaugurating the key road.

The Lipulekh pass is a far western point near Kalapani, a disputed border area between Nepal and India. Both India and Nepal claim Kalapani as an integral part of their territory -- India as part of Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district and Nepal as part of Dharchula district.

(Published 27 May 2020, 17:20 IST)

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