File image of Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli | Photo: PTI
File image of Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli | Photo: PTI
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Successive political establishments in Kathmandu have not been able to resist the temptation to play the China card against New Delhi. It is no secret that some days before the crucial meeting of Nepal Communist Party, Chinese Ambassador Hou Yanqi held a series of meetings with its senior leaders. Beijing made its concern clear that the ongoing strife within Nepal’s ruling coalition is not in the interest of China, which has invested heavily in Nepal and needs Kathmandu to create as many pin pricks for New Delhi as possible.

The Nepal map controversy appears to be both the country’s 68-year-old Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli’s need for one-upmanship in his infighting coalition as well as a nod to its powerful neighbour’s instructions.

In his speech in parliament after his recovery from illness, Oli promised to “reclaim at any cost” the Kalapani-Limpiyadhura-Lipulekh area, part of the 1,800-km-long border that India and Nepal share. To add strength to his rhetoric, K.P. Oli managed to get a cabinet nod for the new map of Nepal showing the contested area as part of Nepal’s territory. The new map seems to have been drawn on the basis of a two-century-old Treaty of Sugauli, signed in 1816 between then-British government in India and the Gurkha chiefs in Nepal. Indian army has been posted in the tri-junction since the 1962 War.

Tension began after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on 9 May, inaugurated the newly constructed 80-km Kailash Mansarovar Yatra route in Uttarakhand built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). Two days after the road was declared open, Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali handed over a “diplomatic note” to Indian Ambassador Vinay Mohan Kwatra protesting the construction of the link road in what Kathmandu claims as disputed territory. According to reports, Nepal is “considering putting up a security post in the area”. This will create further rift leading to unnecessary tension.

But what seems to have ruffled Oli’s ego further is the candid statement by India’s Army Chief General M.M. Naravane that Nepal’s objection to the new road was “at the behest of someone else”, a possible hint at China. Oli countered saying his government was only “articulating a national sentiment and claiming what belongs to the country and not raising the issue under pressure from elsewhere’. But it still doesn’t seem to clear his government’s guilt of acting as a satellite of Beijing.


Also read: Reason behind Nepal’s recent hostility, and India’s longstanding LAC dispute with China


Creating a viral scene

Not content with the new map statement, Prime Minister Oli made another strange remark that “Indian virus is more lethal than Chinese or Italian virus”. “Those who are coming from India through illegal channels are spreading the virus in the country and some local representatives and party leaders are responsible for bringing in people from India without proper testing,” PM Oli said in his speech last Tuesday in parliament. It is not only false but also unethical on the part of a country’s prime minister to make such an irresponsible statement on the floor of the House.

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Out of 21 men residing in a mosque at Chhapkaiya, close to Raxaul border check post in Nepal’s Birgunj, three Indian nationals tested Covid-19 positive on 12 April. This was the first coronavirus case in Province 2, declared one of the three hotspots in the entire country, and it brought the total number of Covid-19 cases detected in Nepal to 12. The rest of the nine patients are Nepali citizens from Kailali, Kanchanpur, Baglung and Kathmandu. The local police are investigating the case of illegal entry but according to a report, these three persons were in Nepal for the last four months. “How did they get infected if they have been in Nepal for the last four months?” an official told The Kathmandu Post.

Nepal reported new Covid-19 cases on 12 May, when 83 cases were reported in a single day, which was attributed to “increase in testing”. It took the national tally to 217, which was still manageable. As of 21 May, Nepal has reported 457 cases, all additions reported from locals, none of whom have been reported to have travelled to India.


Also read: Nepal map row: Has India provoked Kathmandu or is China instigating trouble for New Delhi?


Delhi, watch out for conflict in NCP

Fissures are clearly visible in the Nepal Communist Party and the government in Kathmandu. After the Nepal Communist Party meeting early this month, the standing committee of the party was to meet on 7 May, which was postponed. The reason seems to be party chairman K.P. Oli putting his foot down. Two of his recent ordinances have run into controversy with the party’s standing committee members accusing him of issuing them without consulting the party.

The ruling party has 174 seats in the 275-member parliament (121 of CPN-UML and 53 of the Maoist Centre). There is intense faction-fight among these parties and the Maoists have threatened to withdraw support if their demands are not met with. The two ordinances were meant to ease party split and registration but instead ended up uniting the Samajbadi Party and the Rashtriya Janata Party Nepal to form the Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP) with 33 members to its credit.

The map issue has also not gone down well within the party with Oli’s bête noire Bamdev Gautam, vice chairman of the Nepal Communist Party, issuing a statement warning the prime minister not to take credit for the new map. Twenty of the 44 standing committee members reportedly held a separate meeting after the scheduled meeting was postponed at the behest of the Prime Minister. All said and done, the present truce seems to be temporary. Sooner or later, the parties supporting the government may press their demand for a change in leadership and bring down the Oli government in order to form a new government under a new leader.

New Delhi will have to closely watch the emerging conflict in Nepal’s ruling party and wait for the outcome. The map controversy seems more of Oli’s one-upmanship rather than a serious security threat. But at the same time, New Delhi will have to impress upon Kathmandu the need to go back to the discussion table soon after the crisis of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is over.

The author is a member of the National Executive Committee of the BJP and former editor of Organiser. Views are personal.

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29 Comments Share Your Views

29 COMMENTS

  1. Shekhar Gupta don’t hold back my comment. So much of nonsense is being written by people who have absolutely no clue about why Nepal is acting so belligerently towards India. It must not be forgotten that China is eyeing to gobble Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh, in the next 50 or 100 years, after annexing the Indian territory of Askai Chin. Most unfortunately, Nepal is behaving like China’s puppet. No amount of white washing will ever change this reality. It must not also be forgotten by the Luytens media, which is extremely biased and sympathetic to the Middle Kingdom and acts as its spokesperson, that the PLA tried to intimidate India in 1967 (Nathu La) and got a real thrashing, in 1987 it backed down in Somdorong Arunachal when Gen Sundarji sent a brigade to stare them down. It beat a hasty retreat in Dokalam very recently. An incensed young Lieutenant of the Indian Army also smashed the nose of a burly Chinese major the other day. In 1979, the PLA was vanquished not by the North Vietnamese Army, which was then in Cambodia to fight forces of Pol Pot, but its second rung cadres, the militia, which beat the hell out of Chinese, who retreated ignominiously. Read http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news/battle-of-kasserine-pass-lessons-for-china/

  2. So much of nonsense is being written by people who have absolutely no clue about why Nepal is acting so belligerently towards India. It must not be forgotten that China is eyeing to gobble Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh, in the next 50 or 100 years, after annexing the Indian territory of Askai Chin. Most unfortunately, Nepal is behaving like China’s puppet. No amount of white washing will ever change this reality. It must not also be forgotten by the Luytens media, which is extremely biased and sympathetic to the Middle Kingdom and acts as its spokesperson, that the PLA tried to intimidate India in 1967 (Nathu La) and got a real thrashing, in 1987 it backed down in Somdorong Arunachal when Gen Sundarji sent a brigade to stare them down. It beat a hasty retreat in Dokalam very recently. An incensed young Lieutenant of the Indian Army also smashed the nose of a burly Chinese major the other day. In 1979, the PLA was vanquished not by the North Vietnamese Army, which was then in Cambodia to fight forces of Pol Pot, but its second rung cadres, the militia, which beat the hell out of Chinese, who retreated ignominiously. Read http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news/battle-of-kasserine-pass-lessons-for-china/

  3. Let me provide validate informations .
    As a aftermath of indo-china war , nepal( monarchy , then) had let indian side to stay at kalapani as a friendly guesture . This point was strategically important as this would allow indian side to moniter chinese movement across border . As time passes by , indian side shows reluctance to avoid that land and claims to be their . Nepalese being good indian neighbour country , try multi diplomatic ways to talk and negotiate which Indian side didn’t respond well .
    So the issue remains unsettled.
    However , the issue resurfaced when indian side ( modi side actually ) published nee indian map , considering kalapani as its boundry without even consulting with nepalese as it was their national issue . Tensions rise by then . And the recent inaugration of road linking mansarovar is even escalating the tension . Nepalese donot claim even 1 inch of indian side but are non negotiable with theirs too ..

  4. This is complitely fabricated . Nepal seems to have proper documents to claim the disputed land . The issue is not new , as indian news channel are all busy in kashmir issue as a boundry threat till now . This issue has resurfaced now . All political parties are in support of mr oli government on this particular issue . this issue is not new so stop comparing our national issue with pro china comments . This is misleading . We would love to read next article from you after you go through this context seriously . So just don’t write what you feel , please write what is true .

    • Ok so since 1947 nepal.was in slumber and has suddenly woken when the dragon fed OLI with dragon dung. Now he want kalapani. Have you forgotten that OLI has a secret pact with china and has solid of nepal land and the truth has been exposed by the people of nepal. So People of Nepal need to kick OLI oil out and find a suitable leader who will tame the dragon for his own people. China will gobble Nepal bit by bit wake up b4 it’s too late people of Nepal. Even if it is your land India is not your enemy our forces remain committed to kick any aggression from china. We are not enemy nations but way OLI Oil behaved it was ridiculous.

  5. This article is totally nonsense. I strongly believe that this is the right moment for so called political expert or diplomats come out from British colonial mindset.
    He is one of the memember of Indian politics or diplomats panel, who is biggest unfortunate and challenge for India Nepal relationship. Government of India needs to review and overcome from colonial bureacrats system and foreign policy which can damage Indian dream to become global power in a future.
    Neighborhood friendship exist because of mutual understanding and respect. India should take a initiation for dialogue and respect whatever documents Nepal produce.

  6. This article is totally nonsense. I strongly believe that this is the right moment for so called political expert or diplomats come out from British colonial mindset.
    He is one of the memember of Indian politics or diplomats panel, who is biggest unfortunate and challenge for India Nepal relationship. Government of India needs to review and overcome from colonial bureacrats system and foreign policy which can damage Indian dream to become global power in a future.
    Neighborhood friendship exist because of mutual understanding and respect. India should take a initiation for dialogue and respect whatever documents Nepal produce.

  7. Time to go for regime change in Nepal. Send the Indian Army in, shoot the communists, and install a BJP-RSS ruling government in Nepal.

    • I guess you are influenced with modi side handling over kashir . I am sorry friend but nepal is not kashmir . the border issue is in hearts of every nepalese . This needs to be talked throughly

  8. Atleast British government left your land leaving it to be the rightful owners. If Indian government had any conscience, they would have done the same. They still can do the same. Give back the land wrongfully and methodically taken by the british back then to the rightful claim. Going with logic of “old map” , india could still be part of British empire until now. Guess India was really well taught by the old greedy empire back then. They have changed with times. Can India do the same?

  9. Please stop writing your personal opinion when the issue is between two nationals. These kind of article further deteriorates the relationship and also please do a proper journalism. I would pinpoint few points for you to know the truth than your assumptions which are lethal. If you go through Sugauli treaty, 1950 treaty and the border disputes and a committee held to solve; you would be able to disseminate a fact to public. For your information, this is entirely a national issue and Nepal has not acted on any other country’s instruction. Pleasr do not fabricate and write article entirely based on your opinion in a printed form. This article would rather be a blog.

  10. You can Clearly see Place lies in Indian Territory on Google Maps and then Nepal never objected it,What happened now? Nepal is India’s friend and ally from long time politically and culturally. They should rethink whether they want to be friend with India or become colony of China in future

    • To be fair, they have raised this issue many times in the past. Just that our Indian media and govt has woken up just now.

  11. The writer doesn’t know the truth it’s look like he made his opinion after watching some Indian news channel 😁.

    And for me an unknown fact is why Indian are so scared with Chinese?

    • India is not scared of China,
      We are ready to fight with China, but once war started don’t forget Nepal won’t exist & Tibet will be in India.

  12. The writer doesn’t know the truth it’s look like he made his opinion after watching some Indian news channel 😁.
    And for me an unknown fact is why Indian are so scared with Chinese?

    • what made you think like that? India knows its enemies well and are prepared for any eventualities. Why do you think India constructed that 80 km road?

  13. Thats totally wrong, KP Oli has stood up as a strong leader of a Nepal and he is going to fully spend his tenure successfully. Stop Spreading Fake News. Do Research First. Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura belong to Nepal and not India. Stop border encroachment.
    #BackoffIndia
    #BackoffIndianMedia

    • Who deterred you from mixing with China. Nepal is a sovereign nation, it can do whatever it likes. No one has interfared in your affair. You are simply thinking like this. India is busy with its own problem. India has no interest whether Nepal make friend with China or not.

  14. I guess this is not how a true journalist writes an article without checking a clear history and fact based documents which both the government’s have. It is understood to be very much clear and known not only for the people living in Nepal and their government but also the Indian politicians in the past and the current ruling government of India.

    The accusation have been falsely claimed by the Indian reporters and channels in India and it clearly seems that the government of India have certainly used their power in order to create a bias mind set within their community and the world by spreading wrong informations and misusing there RIGHTS TO SPEECH and EXPRESS.

    However, once the dialogues are exchanged in a higher level meeting it is expected that everything will be clear on the table for both the sides.

    For now both the Indian medias and the people involved in the Indian government should not be stubborn and manipulate the issues without any proper evidences, claiming the territories that belongs to Nepal is of India and it makes it so obvious and intolerable for Nepali people not to accept it will by any means.

    No matter what the ranking of the Indian army is in the world scenario or whatever the total number of soldiers that India have – It will still be a big threat for India if they try to forcefully bully or manipulate their neighboring country Nepal and the Nepal’s civilians.

    Nepali politicians and Nepali people in the majority scale are always in the favor of the government of India and our Indians friends, if we look into it from the over all circumstances and aspects. In its regard the government of Nepal and Nepal are not under the influence of China and their people. In this case Nepal have always treated their Indian friends and the government of India as a family because of the connection, culture, brotherlyhood, etc they have shared for the past different generation with India but not at the cost of our Motherland.

    It can be as a simple as it can be if it is to be understood that no child will stay quiet
    and tolerate when they see their mother being ruined or hurt right in front of their eyes. In this case the civilians of Nepal can even go for a war against the leader or their country or whosoever that comes in between be it at the cost of self or anyone’s death.

    Solution is to sit and share dialogues through high level meeting based on fact based evidences.

    P. S. – I do not understand how come google is allowing such news to come over the homepage which are not fact based. Google seriously need to look into it and consider.

    • I fail to understand the statements by Nepalese leaders that Lipulekh belongs to Nepal & what not. Cites 200 years old treaty for it.
      But were they sleeping for 200 years and have been woke up now by communist puppet Oli govt now.
      Its not so.
      Bad relation with Govt of India will also be spoil.
      China cannot be relied upon. Same is evident in case of Srilanka & many African countries.
      If it is underatood by Nepalese brothers sooner the better…

  15. dear publisher…..don’t put down your personal judgement speak on facts and national documents….nepal has been in dispute with india since decades for its land….if you all can’t do homework i can provide you with all national document copies proving the dispute land belonging to nepal…..plz see through sugauli treaty between nepal and east india company.
    And please show some respect to your profession rather than passing personal judgement

  16. Look at the facts and evidence. Don’t overlook facts. Journalism is dying because of propaganda machine like yours.

  17. The issue of re-claiming Limpiyadura, Lipulek and Kalapanit was reported to have been included in the Annual Program, recited by the President in the parliament, only at the last hour, that too, at the behest of Prachanda, M. K. Nepal and J. N. Khanal.

  18. Hello Shesadri Chari, we will learn towards China now than india. India has a dominating attitude towards Nepal. So we will lean towards a better partner and our politics and sovereignty is ours not your issue.

    • Who deterred you from mixing with China. Nepal is a sovereign nation, it can do whatever it likes. No one has interfared in your affair. You are simply thinking like this. India is busy with its own problem. India has no interest whether Nepal make friend with China or not.

  19. You are absolutely wrong. Nepal has raised this issue since Indian didn’t go back from Kalapani. When India got defeated with China in the war, Nepal extended helpful hand by permitting India to setup their troopa at Nepal-China boarder. India took back all the troops back except the troop at Kalapani. India delayed to go back as it is a strategically important place. And ultimately, India started claiming this land. The author is a leader of BJP. Please advise your government to sit down for a friendly dialogue and resolve the issue by producing the evidences both the parties have. One can not simply claim other’s land since you feel it is important for you

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