Main opposition leader KP Sharma Oli urged Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to discuss the issues of Nepal’s national interest during his India visit, including the problem of floods in border areas, energy development and the 1950 bilateral treaty. Deuba, who took over from Prachanda as the prime minister of Nepal in a power-sharing deal in June, will be on a five- day visit to India from tomorrow on his first official trip abroad.
Oli, the leader of the Communist Party of Nepal-Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), underlined the need for Deuba to inform the people about the reasons behind his visit to India at a time when the House session was underway. Addressing the addressing the parliament, Oli said Nepal has been badly hit by floods and landslides, which have killed nearly 150 people and rendered another 10,000 homeless.
“At this moment, extensive talks and discussions about the matters should be held with the neighbour during the visit so as to seek permanent solutions to frequent problems of floods caused by border rivers in the Terai region,” he said. He said the bilateral energy policy unveiled by India recently was not in Nepal’s interest and “would contribute nothing” to promote the Himalayan country’s energy sector.
He said Nepal as the current chair of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation should play an important role to de-escalate geopolitical and other regional tensions. Oli also asked Deuba to discuss the 1950 Peace and Friendship Treaty with India. The treaty establishing a close strategic bilateral relationship has often been criticised by some political parties here as being skewed in India’s favour.
On the demands by Madhesi people for a Constitution amendment to give more political powers the community, Oli said his party could have supported it had the proposal come through an “appropriate” channel and was based on consensus. Nepal’s parliament yesterday failed to pass the Constitution amendment bill, aimed at addressing the two main demands of the Madhesi people – more representation in the Parliament and redrawing of provincial boundaries.
Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, launched a prolonged agitation between September 2015 and February last year against the implementation of the new Constitution which they felt marginalised the Terai community.