Nepal’s lower house of parliament on Saturday passed an amendment to include a new map including Indian areas of Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani in the constitution of the country. The bill was supported by all the 258 lawmakers present and voting.
The move came on the heels of the endorsement extended by Nepal’s House of Representatives on June 10 to have a proposal seeking consideration of the constitution amendment bill for change of country’s map following a long discussion.
Nepal had earlier offered India to have diplomatic discussions to resolve the territorial disputes between the two countries. India, in her defence, claimed that it already cleared her position on the matter and it deeply values its civilisational, cultural and friendly relations with Nepal.
Nepal released map laying claim on Indian territories
Last month, Nepal PM KP Oli, presumably at the behest of China, kicked up a storm when he claimed Nepal’s claim on the Indian regions of Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani. In his speech in parliament, KP Oli made irredentist claims against India by asserting that Nepal would bring back the aforementioned territories at any cost.
Nepal’s newfound belligerence against India partly stems from Beijing, which considers New Delhi as a threat to its global ambitions. Many attribute Nepal’s bellicosity against India to China who is rapidly expanding its footprint in the communist-ruled Kathmandu.
The proposal for the new map came 10 days after the Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a link road on the Kailash Mansarovar route in Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand, leading to Lipulekh.
The foreign ministry of Nepal had issued a press release voicing their protest against the move, claiming the link road passed through Nepali territory. However, India rejected the claims, saying “the link road lies completely within the territory of India”.
India claimed that the link road follows the pre-existing road that was used by the pilgrims to visit Kailash Mansarovar. “Under the recent project, the same road has been made more robust for the ease and convenience of the pilgrims,” an official said.
“This unilateral act is not based on historical facts and evidence. It is contrary to the bilateral understanding to resolve the outstanding boundary issues through diplomatic dialogue. Such artificial enlargement of territorial claims will not be accepted by India,” Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.