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Nepal map row: Nepali Congress to vote in favour of amendment proposal

Lalitpur,Nepal

Nepal’s principal opposition party, Nepali Congress (NC), has decided to support the amendment proposal to include an updated map in its constitution.

The party’s Central Working Committee, which met on Saturday, decided to support the proposal, its spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma said. The map includes Indian territories being claimed by Nepal.

“Minding previous events, the Government of Nepal’s move to unveil the map including Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh, Kalapani and amendment over Nepal’s Constitution Article 9, Sub-article 2 and Schedule 3 tabled at the Federal Parliament, the Nepali Congress acknowledging it as appropriate move, the party’s meeting directed the parliamentary members to vote in support of the proposal as has been discussed in the meeting,” Sharma said.

On May 22, the Nepal government had registered an amendment proposal in its Parliament after releasing a new political map of the country on May 18 depicting Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limipiyadhura as its territories.

The constitution amendment requires a two-thirds majority. Ruling Nepal Communist Party holds a two-thirds majority in upper House but is short of dominance in the lower House compelling it to seek support from other parties.

Amendment proposal already registered in parliament secretariat was taken off the schedule on May 27 because of the constitutional provision of a two-thirds majority.

The House of Representatives or the Lower House of the Himalayan Nation has 275 seats out of which, the ruling NCP has 174 seats, short of 10 for a two-third majority. The NC has 63 and Janata Samajbadi Party 34.

The recently released new Nepal map can get legal backing in Nepal only after the constitution is amended.

After the delay in the amendment move, India on Thursday said that it is open for engagement with all its neighbours on the basis of mutual sensitivity and respect in an environment of trust and confidence.

MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had said that India continues to monitor the situation in Nepal.

“On the recent developments on the boundary issue, we continue to monitor the situation in Nepal. We note that this matter is receiving careful consideration in Nepal, taking its seriousness into account. India is open to engaging with all its neighbours on the basis of mutual sensitivity and mutual respect, in an environment of trust and confidence.

This is a continuous process and requires constructive and positive efforts,” he said. Srivastava recalled that in recent years bilateral relations have been on an upward trajectory.

“India attaches great importance to the deep-rooted historical, cultural and friendly relations with Nepal. In recent years, our relations have been on an upward trajectory which is evident from expanding and diversified bilateral cooperation and increased Government of India’s assistance for development and connectivity projects,” he said.

“Even in these challenging times of COVID-19 pandemic, India has ensured unimpeded trade and supply of essentials including medicines to Nepal, besides providing assistance in terms of medical supplies and other facilitation” he added.

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