India sought changes in Nepal statute: MediaIndian daily The Indian Express ran story on Wednesday stating that India had asked Nepal’s political leadership to make seven specific changes to the constitution.
Indian daily The Indian Express ran story on Wednesday stating that India had asked Nepal’s political leadership to make seven specific changes to the constitution.
The seven suggestions included delineation of electoral constituencies based on population alone, the right to participate in state structures on the basis of principles of proportional inclusion, to allow naturalised citizens to hold highest offices both at the federal and provincial level, allow representation in the national assembly based on population, to incorporate five disputed districts of Kanchanpur, Kailali, Sunsari, Jhapa and Morang to neighbouring Madhes province, delineation of electoral constituencies every 10 years and automatic citizenship to foreign women married to Nepali citizen.
But Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson has brushed off the newspaper report that the Indian government has handed over any list of specific constitutional amendments or changes to Nepal government to resolve the ongoing unrest in Nepal’s Tarai region.
“The article is incorrect. The government of India has not handed over any list of specific Constitutional amendments or changes to the Government of Nepal,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Without being prescriptive on specific clauses, and as already stated earlier, we continue to urge that issues on which there are differences should be resolved through dialogue in an atmosphere free from violence, and institutionalised in a manner that would enable broad-based ownership and acceptance.”
Meanwhile, Nepali political leaders have expressed disbelief that India would offer such suggestions.
“I don’t think they are the official suggestions put forth by India. If that is Delhi’s official position, that is wrong and objectionable,” said Yogesh Bhattarai, CPN-UML’s chief of publicity department. “No country has the right to submit such suggestions to a neighbouring countries when the latter is promulgating new constitution on its own.”
Nepali Congress spokesperson Dilendra Badu said that there was no official communication and that he had only learned through media reports about the Indian suggestions.
UCPN (Maoist) spokesperson Dinanath Sharma described suggestions as direct interference in Nepal’s internal affairs. “Any suggestions prior to the constitution promulgation would have been welcome. But how can they offer such suggestions now?” Sharma asked.
Indian envoy debriefs PM Koirala
KATHMANDU: Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae met PM Sushil Koirala on Wednesday to brief about the outcome of his consultations in Delhi amid the latest diplomatic and political standoff between the two counties.
Rae, who returned here on Wednesday morning, urged the PM to resolve crisis in Tarai in a week through formal and informal negotiations with the Madhes-based parties ahead of Bihar assembly polls.
Rae clarified that India has no intention to impose blockade and that his government was forced to issue a statement after transporters sought security to ferry goods from India to Nepal given the volatile security situation in the Tarai districts.
He also tried to convince the PM that Nepal-India ties will remain unaffected, according to PM’s aide.