THE NEPAL government has lodged its objection to a comment, which Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb attributed to Union Home Minister Amit Shah – during his tenure as the party chief – that the BJP will be forming government not only in Indian states, but in Nepal as well.
Addressing a party event in Agartala on Sunday, Deb in jest quoted Shah as suggesting that the BJP has plans of expanding to Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Nepal Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Tuesday said the government has noted the media reports, and “formal objections conveyed to the government of India”. Foreign ministry sources said Nepal’s ambassador to India Nilambar Acharya lodged formal objections.
The ruling Nepal Communist Party and the main opposition Nepali Congress criticised Shah’s purported comment, asserting that it amounted to undermining Nepal’s sovereignty.
In his address on Sunday, Deb said Shah once shared during a meeting with party leaders in Tripura about expanding the BJP to Nepal and Sri Lanka. Shah was BJP national president at that time, Deb said, adding that his visionary ideas transformed the BJP into the world’s largest political party.
“We were talking at the state guest house in Agartala, when [party leader] Ajay Jamwal said that most of the states have BJP in power. In reply, Amit Shah said Nepal and Sri Lanka are left. We need to win there as well,” said Deb, as he burst into laughter.
Referring to the upcoming Assembly elections in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Deb said the BJP would come to power in both states. “There will be neither CPM nor Congress in Kerala anymore. Narendra Modi is going there and Amit Shah has already reached there. In Tamil Nadu too, we will form next government. There will be no government other than BJP,” said Deb.
Although Deb made the statement in jest, barely 24 hours later, the state BJP came out in his support and said he had spoken the truth about BJP’s long-term ideological ambitions. “We started work to extend our Indian philosophy and culture to different countries since long. We never consider poll contest as our primary aim. We are considering to win people everywhere,” said Tripura BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya.
Claiming that the Congress party and Communist party have global presence like Nepali Congress or Communist parties in different nations, he asked why the BJP’s ideology can’t be spread worldwide. “We believe the Indian culture, philosophy are the best and we want to spread it to other countries. We don’t work for political ambitions alone. Biplab Deb said the exact same thing. What’s wrong in that?” he said.
Congress veteran and state party vice-president Tapas De said no one should interfere in internal affairs of other countries as both Nepal and Sri Lanka are sovereign countries. CPI(M) leaders were not available for comments. BJP leaders in Delhi also refused to comment on the issue.