More than three weeks after Nepal Foreign Minister Pradip Gyawali announced the decision to appoint Former Chief Election Commissioner Nilkantha Upreti as the new ambassador to India, the move is yet to be formalised. This has fuelled speculation that PM K P Oli’s ‘disapproval’ has stalled the appointment.
Gyawali had told reporters after a Cabinet meeting weeks ago that Upreti had been appointed ambassador to New Delhi, but a list of Cabinet decisions taken that day make no mention of the appointment. A source in the ruling Communist Party of Nepal told the Indian Express that both Oli and party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda disapproved of naming Upreti as Nepal’s ambassador to India. “The issue is not going to proceed further,” the source said.
The Cabinet usually forwards the name of the ambassador-designate to the Parliamentary Hearing Committee for confirmation immediately, but “no proposal has been received regarding Upreti,” the Parliament Secretariat said.
Upreti, after his retirement as CEC, was associated with the Niti Pratisthan, a political foundation backed by the Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh in Nepal, which, on occasion, has closely worked with the Delhi-based India Foundation.