Days after Chinese troops reportedly captured a large swathe of land in Ladakh, the Indian government has faced another embarrassment in its backyard as Nepal’s Parliament on Saturday unanimously voted to amend its constitution to update the country’s new political map. The new political map of Nepal now includes parts of India in Uttarakhand. They include areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura.
The development left the Indian government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi red-faced as it scurried to hide its embarrassment. A statement by the Indian ministry of external affairs said that the decision taken by Nepal was not ‘tenable.’
MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “We have noted that the House of Representatives of Nepal has passed a constitution amendment bill for changing the map of Nepal to include parts of Indian territory. We have already made our position clear on this matter.
“This artificial enlargement of claims is not based on historical fact or evidence and is not tenable. It is also violative of our current understanding to hold talks on outstanding boundary issues.”
Nepal’s 275-member House of Representatives needed a two-thirds majority to pass the amendment in its constitution to ratify the new political map. The Bill will now goes to the National Assembly for its approval to the amendment. In the event that the National Assembly approves the Bill, this will be sent to the country’s President for it to become an official part of the constitution.
The development comes just days after the Chinese army reportedly captured a large part of the Indian territory in Ladakh. The Chinese army has refused to vacate the Indian territory despite high-level talks between the two countries.
The step taken by Nepal comes days after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a 80-km-long road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on 8 May.
Reacting angrily, Nepal said that the Indian road passed through its territory. But the Indian government rejected Nepal’s claims stressing that the road passed through Indian territory.
Last week, the Nepalese Police had shot dead one Indian and left two critically injured on the Indo-Nepal border in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district.