New Delhi: Nepal’s Parliament on Saturday passed a constitutional amendment bill on its updated political administrative map, which includes strategically key areas of Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulek, all parts of Uttarakhand on the Indian map. New Delhi reacted to it sharply, calling it a “violation” and “artificial enlargement of claims”. Also Read - Disengagement Begins in Galwan: China Withdraws Troops by At Least 1-2 KM, Heavy Armoured Vehicles Still Present, Say Sources
Nepal’s House of Representatives has a total strength of 275. A total of 258 votes were in favour, making a way for the amendment bill to pass by a two-third majority. Also Read - India 'Very Responsible' Player in Global Fora, Can Galvanise Action as UNSC Member: UN Official
“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,” said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava. Also Read - What is Bubonic Plague or Black Death, How Fatal is it?
“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.
The bill tabled by Nepal’s Law Minister Shivamaya Tumbahamphe on Sunday also updated the map in the national emblem.
The ties between the two countries came under strain after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated an 80-km-long strategically crucial road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on May 8.
Nepal reacted sharply to the inauguration of the road claiming that it passed through Nepalese territory.
In the midst of the row, Gen Naravane had said that there were reasons to believe that Nepal objected to the road at the behest of “someone else”, in an apparent reference to a possible role by China in the matter. The comments triggered an angry reaction from Nepal.
Days later, Nepal came out with the new map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territories.
The Lipulekh pass is a far western point near Kalapani, a disputed border area between Nepal and India. Both India and Nepal claim Kalapani as an integral part of their territory – India as part of Uttarakhand”s Pithoragarh district and Nepal as part of Dharchula district.
Nepalese Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has been asserting that Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura belong to Nepal and vowed to “reclaim” them from India.