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Nepal puts on hold constitution amendment for new map that upset India

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 27-05-2020 Shishir Gupta

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A constitutional amendment pushed hard by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to alter Nepal's map has been put on hold, people familiar with the development told Hindustan Times on Wednesday.

The new political map placed Indian territories of Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh in Nepal and was seen as an effort by PM Oli to consolidate himself in the Nepal Communist Party government by whipping up ultra-nationalistic sentiments against India.

But he wasn't able to build consensus around the new map among Nepal parties, many of them saw through his effort to invoke gorkha nationalism for personal gains, sources in New Delhi and Kathmandu said.

Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. © Xinhua/Sunil Sharma via Getty Images Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

PM Oli, who has been facing problems within the communist party, is seen to have prompted loud protests in Kathmandu this month at a 80-km stretch of road opened by India from Uttarakhand's Dharchula to Lipulekh. He responded to this 'public sentiment' a few weeks later with a new political map that depicted Lipulekh and Kalapani as part of Nepalese territory.

The map, released within a day of the cabinet approval, showed Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as part of Byas rural municipality in Nepal's Sudurpaschim province.

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