Kathmandu: Nepal’s Parliament is set to hold a special session on Saturday to vote on a constitutional amendment to come out with a new political map laying claim over the strategically key areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura along the border with India, sources said on Thursday, notwithstanding a strong protest by New Delhi. Also Read - Nepal Political Crisis: Prachanda Meets President Amid Rift in Ruling NCP
A house meeting has been scheduled for Saturday as per the Parliament’s notice and the matter relating to the constitution amendment bill is likely to come during the meeting, parliamentary sources said. Also Read - Nepal's Ruling Party Seeks PM Oli's Resignation, Cites 'Failure in Handling Various Issues'
Nepal last month released the revised political and administrative map of the country laying claim over the strategically key areas. India has been maintaining that these three areas belonged to it. Also Read - Amid Rift Over Border Issue, Nepal PM Claims India Hatching Conspiracy to Topple His Govt
Earlier this week, the Nepalese Parliament unanimously endorsed a proposal to consider the constitution amendment bill to pave way for endorsing the new map.
The ties between India and Nepal came under strain after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a 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. India rejected the claim asserting that the road lies completely within its territory.
India sternly asked Nepal not to resort to any “artificial enlargement” of territorial claims after Kathmandu released the new map.
Nepal’s Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has said that his government will seek a solution to the Kalapani issue through diplomatic efforts and dialogue on the basis of historical facts and documents.
“We will get back the land occupied by India through holding a dialogue,” Oli said while responding to questions in Parliament on Wednesday.
He claimed that India built a Kali temple, created “an artificial Kali river” and “encroached the Nepalese territory through deploying the Army” at Kalapani. The river defines the border between the two countries.
In New Delhi, the External Affairs Ministry said on Thursday that India deeply values its friendly ties with Nepal.
“We have already made our position clear on these issues. India deeply values its civilization, cultural and friendly relations with Nepal,” Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said, in comments seen as conciliatory to the Himalyan nation.
“Our multi-faceted bilateral partnership has expanded and diversified in the recent years with increased focus and enhanced government of India’s assistance on humanitarian, development and connectivity projects in Nepal,” Srivastava said at an online media briefing when asked about the issue.