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Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s India trip cancelled, envoy recalled

India is concerned about the impact of the possible instability on the accord with the Madhesis. The accord is expected to remove inequalities in the new Nepalese Constitution.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi/kathmandu |
Updated: May 7, 2016 2:34:21 am
Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Simhastha Kumbh Mela, mp kumbh mela, india kumbh mela, kumbh mela india, india news, delhi news President Bidhya Devi Bhandari was scheduled to visit from May 9 as the state guest at the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee.

The Nepal government Friday cancelled President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s visit to India and recalled its ambassador to India Deep K Upadhyay.

Upadhyay was instrumental in bringing the relationship between India and Nepal “back on track,” but was not seen by Kathmandu as a loyalist to the K P Oli government, sources said.

Government sources confirmed both these moves to The Indian Express Friday. A source, privy to the developments, called it a “complete overreaction” to internal developments in Nepal and an attempt to “externalise” an essentially domestic situation.

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On Friday afternoon, in a fallout of the political situation in Nepal, the state visit of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari to India was cancelled, government sources said.

Bhandari was scheduled to reach Delhi on May 9 and be a guest of President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan. She was also slated to participate in a Shahi Snan in the ongoing Simhastha Kumbh at Ujjain on May 14.

Official sources said the visit was cancelled in view of the threat of a split in the coalition government of CPN-UML and UCPN-Maoist in Nepal.

Earlier this week, the UCPN-Maoist led by Prachanda triggered political instability by declaring end of the coalition.

The Maoists and the opposition Nepali Congress have accused PM K P Oli for failing to implement the new Constitution, address problems related to Madhesis and expedite post-quake reconstruction work. On Thursday, Oli survived a threat to his government after the Prachanda-led Maoists decided not to withdraw support “for the time being”.

The decision to recall Upadhyay is being seen as Oli’s bid to deflect the problems towards India.

Officials said Upadhyay, who was appointed Ambassador to India in April last year by then PM Sushil Koirala, is seen as a political appointee by Nepali Congress. Officials suggested that he has been accused of trying to topple the Oli government and cosying up to India.

Upadhyay is learnt to have advised the Oli government against cancelling Bhandari’s visit and that did not go down well with the top echelons in Kathmandu.

India is concerned about the impact of the possible instability on the accord with the Madhesis. The accord is expected to remove inequalities in the new Nepalese Constitution.

“We are hoping that the situation does not have an adverse impact on the Constitutional amendments and the assurances made to the Madhesis and other disaffected sections of Nepal,” an Indian official told The Indian Express.

“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,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said on Thursday.

 

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