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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Nepal set to amend constitution to add 'Indian areas' to map

  • Nepal is adding Limpiyadhura, a territory India claims to be its own, to its map
  • The amendment was tabled after the Nepali Congress CWC told its legislators to vote in favour of the new map

NEW DELHI : Nepal has tabled a constitutional amendment for adopting a new map, which includes some Indian territory, in a move that could raise tensions between the neighbours, news reports said on Sunday.

The move follows the central working committee (CWC) of the Nepali Congress (NC) directing party lawmakers to vote in favour of the proposal to amend the constitution to change the map in the national emblem.

“The party will now favour the bill when it is put to voting," NC’s CWC member Min Bishwakarma was quoted as saying by Kathmandu Post.

This has cleared the decks for the amendment to sail through the Nepalese parliament, cementing prime minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s credentials as a strong and nationalist leader who does not bow to Indian pressure. The development is expected to strain Kathmandu’s ties with New Delhi. It has surfaced at a time when India is also locked in a face-off with Chinese troops in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control. India and Nepal have been showing Kalapani and Lipulekh as part of their territory in their respective political maps. Kathmandu has now brought out a new map that shows Limpiyadhura, too, as its territory.

The trigger for the recent rise in tensions was Nepal’s objection to India inaugurating a road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand. India said the road lay in Pithoragarh district and will give Indian pilgrims easier access to Kailash Mansarovar. But Oli said Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura are part of Nepal and vowed to “reclaim" them through political and diplomatic efforts.

Nepal’s law, justice and parliamentary affairs minister Shivamaya Tumbahangphe was to table constitutional amendment in parliament last week, but it was removed from schedule after the NC requested time for the party to take a decision at its CWC meeting. On Saturday, NC, traditionally seen as pro-India, decided to vote for the amendment. India had on Thursday indicated readiness to engage with Nepal to resolve the border row.

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