New Delhi: India on Wednesday reiterated its tough message to Nepal that it needed to amend its new constitution to ensure protests by a section of the Nepalese population—the Madhesis, Tharus and Janjatis—come to an end which, in turn, will facilitate the movement of supply-laden trucks from India.

Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj conveyed the message to Nepal’s deputy prime minister Kamal Thapa, who is in India on a three-day private visit.

“Swaraj assures deputy prime minister Kamal Thapa that there is no hindrance to supplies from India. But Nepal needs to normalize situation ASAP (as soon as possible)," Indian foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup wrote in a post on Twitter.

Swaraj “reiterates need for urgent pol(itical) solution to pol(itical) problems facing Nepal," said another tweet by Swarup.

Swaraj’s message was the same as the one she gave Thapa in October during his visit to India days after being named deputy prime minister and foreign minister.

Nepal has been witnessing political protests following the adoption of a new constitution in September.

The constitution seeks to divide the Himalayan country, sandwiched between India and China, into seven states and to install a federal model in which 60% of lawmakers will be elected directly, while the rest will be elected in proportion to the population of the seven yet-to-be-created states.

The Tharus, Madhesis and Janjatis, who constitute 51% of the country’s 27 million population, fear they will not be adequately represented in the country’s parliament under the new constitution and have been holding protests.

India blames the stoppage of commercial vehicles carrying goods to landlocked Nepal on the protesters who, it says, have been squatting on the roads.

Nepal, on its part, blames India’s tacit support for the protesters as the reason for their prolonged agitation and has accused India of imposing an economic and fuel blockade.

The situation has resulted in tension between India and Nepal, reversing the warmth in relations seen after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office on 26 May last year.

In August 2014, Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Nepal for a bilateral visit in 17 years and announced a $1 billion line of credit.

In November last year, Modi visited Nepal once again for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit.

India also announced another $1 billion in aid for relief and reconstruction after a devastating earthquake struck Nepal in April.

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