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Nepal mulls action against Indian envoy alleging interference


In what could lead to a serious diplomatic crisis, sources in Kathmandu suggest the KP Oli government in Nepal could target the Indian Ambassador to the Himalayan country.

The Nepalese government, according to reports, is contemplating legalities and implications of declaring Indian envoy Ranjit Rae as PNG or persona non grata. Following recent internal political developments, Nepal has accused New Delhi of trying to destabilise the KP Oli government and the Indian ambassador of interference in its internal matters.

Over the last week in signs of worsening ties, Nepal sought to cancel the scheduled visit to India of its first woman President - Bidhya Devi Bhandari, 72 hours prior to her departure. This without providing any official reason.

Bhandari would have landed in New Delhi on May 9 on a state visit, held parleys with the Indian President, Prime Minister and met other top leaders. She was scheduled to attend the ongoing month long Simhastha Kumbh at Ujjain from May 11 to 12 and participate in The Vaicharik Kumbh, before flying back to Kathmandu on May 13. This supposedly first of its kind global ideological conference is to be attended by ambassadors and high commissioners and other dignitaries.

According to Nepalese sources, Kathmandu had objection over the venue of President Bhandari's meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi - his official residence at Race Course Road. Nepal also seemed to have made a bone of contention over the proposed Ujjain leg of the tour citing security fears in the wake of the sudden heavy rains and storm that killed at least seven people last Wednesday.

But Nepalese Ambassador to India, Deep Kumar Upadhyay, a veteran political appointee, had advised otherwise, suggesting the President's visit to go ahead. Orders for his recall soon followed the visit cancellation, over charges of non-cooperation and lack of trust.

Speaking to Mail Today, the Nepalese Ambassador refused to comment saying he is still waiting for final orders before packing his bags. "As an envoy of Nepal I am supposed to carry on orders of government as well as welfare of people and country. Until I do not get exact text of decision it will be better for me to not comment on hearsay media reporting," he said.

Behind the scenes what is playing out though is Nepal's internal power tussle between PM KP Sharma Oli - Chairman of CPN-UML and Maoist chief and former Prime Minister Pushp Kamal Dahal, better known as Prachanda. Oli's left led and left dominated government survives on the support of the Maoists. But last week Maoists moved a resolution to pull the plug and take over Singh Durbar with support mobilised by Sher Bahadur Deuba led Nepali Congress. However within 24 hours, Prachanda did a U-turn, leaving Oli still in command but bitter and very upset. Oli has now chosen to play the victim card and blame India for attempting a change in government.

Despite Narendra Modi's neighbourhood first policy and successful Kathmandu visits, the bilateral relation hit rock bottom last year. This when essential supplies from India were disrupted along the Raxaul borders as Madhesis agitated for their demands to be met in the nation's new constitution. Nepal accused India for the 'blockade' and of siding with the Madhesis. India vehemently denied any blockade on the ground.

As the common man was hit the worst with the oil and medicines crisis, especially in the wake of devastating earthquake that claimed thousands of lives in 2015, anger against New Delhi was externalised.

Though in his first official visit since assuming prime ministerial charge, Oli travelled to India in February this year and termed as successful his six day visit. But relations are on the slide again.

India has so far refused to be dragged into what it calls Nepal's 'internal situation'. Asked to comment MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup last week said, "These are internal political developments in Nepal and it will not be appropriate for me to comment on them. But, of course, as a close neighbour, we are following the developments very closely."

Reacting to reports, Nepal's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa took to Twitter calling them baseless speculations.


Source Link : indiatoday.intoday.in
Date : 09-05-2016 12:42:15