India on Saturday rejected with disdain Nepalese Parliament’s move to stake claims on Indian land in the border areas. In a strongly worded and unambiguous statement, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that Nepal’s claims are not based on historical fact or evidence and therefore, they are “untenable”.
“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,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
“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,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the lower house of Nepal’s Parliament unanimously adopted the constitutional amendment bill that depicts India areas including Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as part of Nepal. The bill also provides for including the country’s new political map in the national emblem.
All 258 members of the 275-strong House of Representatives present in the lower house voted for the bill. The ruling Nepal Communist Party doesn’t have a two-thirds majority in the lower house, and the bill was supported by key opposition parties such as Nepali Congress and Rastriya Prajatantra Party.
The bill is likely to be taken up by the National Assembly or upper house next week. The Nepal Communist Party has a two-thirds majority in the upper house and the bill’s passage by the National Assembly is considered a formality.