Nepal parliament passes new map; includes Indian territory

ST Staff
Saturday, 13 June 2020

The new map involves a territory from the Uttarakhand region of India

The parliament of Nepal voted in a special session on a Constitutional amendment bill to update the map of the country, including a stretch of land in the mountains that India claims as its own. After the deliberations were completed, the parliament initiated the discussion on the amendment bill.

All the 258 votes were in favour, with a House of 275 votes, so a two-thirds majority was approved on the Amendment bill.

The ruling party in Nepal had cleared up the map last month with ferocious reactions from India, who described the move as "unilateral," and not historically based. In the middle of confrontations with India over this issue, the opposition Nepalese Congress had said it would vote for the amendment.

It will now be referred by the national assembly, in which a similar process will be carried out.

The Parliament shall provide 72 hours for legislators to propose amendments to the provisions of the Bill, if applicable. Following the approval of the bill by the National Assembly, it is sent for ratification to the President, after the bill is integrated into the Constitution.

The new map - published last month - displays a sliver of land from the north-west tip of Nepal on the east bank of the Kali river. The region covers the Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani which are highly strategic areas that have been secured by India since the 1962 war against China.

India says that these parts belong to Uttarakhand

India's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said today, "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."

He further added, "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."

Chief General of the Army MM Naravane said that India's relations with Nepal are very strong. "We have a very strong relationship with Nepal. We have geographical, cultural, historical, religious linkages. We have very strong people to people connect. Our relation with them has always been strong and will remain strong in the future," he was quoted saying to ANI.

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