Hours after the House of Representatives (HoR) in Nepal passed a bill that included Indian Territories in its new map, Ministry of External Affairs – Government of India – made its disapproval public by calling Nepal’s move as ‘not tenable.’ The HoR on Saturday, June 13 cleared the Constitutional Amendment Bill that includes a stretch of land high in the mountains – that India claims of its own – by altering its national map. The bill was passed with a majority of 258 votes, out of the total 275 representatives.
In a press conference held last month, Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson for Ministry of External Affairs for India, said, “Such artificial enlargement of territorial claims will not be accepted by India. Nepal is well aware of India’s consistent position on this matter and we urge the Government of Nepal to refrain from such unjustified cartographic assertion and respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
However, while speaking to ANI on the decision on the amended bill, Indian Army Chief MM Naranave claimed the relations between India and Nepal were ‘strong’ and also ensured it should be maintained in the same way even in the future.
In a decision taken last month, Law Minister Shivamaya Tumbahamphe had tabled the Bill on Sunday, 31 May thus facing a fierce reaction from India, who described the move as ‘unilateral’ and not based on historical facts.
The new map, which was made public last month shows a piece of land on the east of river Kali, projecting out from the northwestern edge of Nepal. The area incorporates Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand and also Limpiyandhura and Kalapani, which are highly critical areas for India; areas that India has been guarding since 1962 Indo-China war. As per the new map of Nepal, the areas of Kalapani, Limpiyadhura, and Lipulek – which are on the Indian map – belong to Nepal. The Bill also seeks to update the map in its national emblem.
Now that the amended bill has received a green signal from the parliament, it will be passed in the National Assembly where it will undergo a similar procedure. The National Assembly will then give 72 hours to the lawmakers to move the amendments against the bill’s provision, if any. After National Assembly passes the bill, it will then be submitted to the President for authentication to be included in the constitution.