Nepal takes up Tripura chief minister’s remarks with Indian officialsEnvoy expresses concern over statement that Indian home minister shared ‘plans to form a BJP government in Nepal’.
Nepal has taken exception to a recent statement by Biplab Kumar Deb, chief minister of Tripura state of India, in which he quoted India’s Home Minister Amit Shah as saying that the Bharatiya Janata Party would soon form its government in Nepal.
A Nepali diplomat in the Nepali embassy in New Delhi told the Post over the phone that Ambassador Nilamber Acharya telephoned Arindam Bagchi, joint secretary in charge of Nepal and Bhutan at India’s Ministry of External Affairs, and expressed his reservations about Deb’s statement.
Deb on February 13 said that during a tea party with the state leadership of Tripura, Shah had said that he plans to establish the party in neighbouring countries after winning in most of the states in India, according to The East Mojo.
“We were talking in the state guest house when Ajay Jamwal (North-East Zonal Secretary of BJP) said that BJP has formed its government in several states of India, in reply Shah said, Now Sri Lanka and Nepal is left,” Deb said quoting Shah, the East Mojo reported. “We have to expand the party in Sri Lanka, Nepal, and win there to form a government.”
According to the Nepali diplomat in Delhi, Ambassador Acharya expressed displeasure at the statement and has sought clarification.
The Indian side has assured that they will clarify the matter during a regular presser on Thursday by India’s Ministry of External Affairs.
The Nepali diplomat added that Bagchi told Ambassador Acharya that the ministry has taken note of Deb’s statement, saying that they have also noticed some reports circulating in various Indian newspapers, which is unfortunate.
“Do you think people like Home Minister Shah might have made such unfounded and baseless claims,” the official quoted India’s external affairs ministry official as telling Acharya. “We don’t believe in such statements, but we will make our position public soon.”
Deb’s statement was widely condemned by various political leaders of India.
According to The Wire, CPI (M) leader and former Member of Parliament Jitendra Chaudhary said that the chief minister does not have any understanding of the constitution and democracy. He added that Shah’s statements, as claimed by Deb, amounted to India’s interference in the internal affairs of a foreign country.
The CPI (M) leader alleged that the home minister of India was engaged in a “state conspiracy against Nepal” and the evidence was given by no less than by a person holding a constitutional post in the state of Tripura.
Chaudhary said that Deb’s statement cannot be taken casually and demanded a response from the BJP top leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to The Wire.
Meanwhile, the Indian National Congress, the primary opposition of India, also protested the statement from the chief minister of Tripura.
“Such foolish claims by people like these,” the party said in a tweet with the image of Deb, “our country’s relations with neighbouring countries have reached a new low.”
Shashi Tharoor, an Indian National Congress Member of Parliament from Kerala, also took a swipe at Deb for his comments.
“The ambition of forming governments in places where their party doesn’t exist is absurd enough, but they’re trying it in Kerala without much success either!” Tharoor wrote on Twitter on Monday.