Oli's 'statement against India' is that nationalism for him in Nepal?

Posted on 23rd Sep 2021 04:58 pm by rohit kumar

Did India pressurize Nepal not to implement the new constitution? Did the then Foreign Secretary of India S Jaishankar also 'threatened' the leadership of Nepal?


No claim has been made, nor has it been confirmed by India to do so. But former Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has alleged that S Jaishankar, who arrived in Nepal as a special envoy of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, spoke to Nepal's leadership in a 'threatening tone'.


In 2015, Nepal made its new constitution and there were allegations that the rights of Madhesis living in the Terai areas were ignored in the new constitution. Violent demonstrations also took place in the Madheshi-dominated Terai areas and some people also died during this.


India never officially expressed any opposition to the new constitution of Nepal, but during bilateral talks with the leadership of Nepal, India had expressed concern over it. Oli's statement came at a time when Constitution Day was being celebrated in Nepal.


Oli made this remark in a 'political document' presented to his party, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist). His remarks have come at a time when Nepal is going through a period of political crisis and he is also facing opposition in his party.


There are many allegations against Oli


Just a few days ago, his party's vice-president Bamdev Gautam resigned after getting angry with Oli's 'impractical working style'.


Oli did make allegations in his 'document', but he did not mention what exactly S Jaishankar had threatened Nepal's leadership by saying.


Pushpa Adhikari, Professor of Political Science at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal's capital, told the BBC over the phone, "S Jaishankar came to Nepal on September 20, 2015, as a special envoy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but after talking to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and other leaders. No one knows what he said during those meetings, because those meetings were not made public."


But Oli alleged in the 'document' presented to the party, "Jaishankar came here as a special envoy. He met us and said that if India's concerns and suggestions regarding the Constitution were ignored, then its results will not be good."


Foreign affairs experts say that India must have been concerned about Nepal's new constitution, but no politician from Nepal has ever accused India of bullying.


Professor Officer says that for the last few years it has been seen that whenever the politicians of Nepal feel that their support base is slipping, they start making anti-India rhetoric. He also says that by doing this he wants to present himself as a nationalist leader.


Nepal-China friendship

Oli is doing these things very well, says the official. Whenever there was a crisis in his power or whenever he faced a political crisis, he started rhetoric against India. However, India acted with restraint during this time. And never gave any statement back.


After the economic blockade in the Terai areas ended, that is, in the year 2016, Oli visited China and tried to send a message to India. During this, he made a 'Trade and Transportation Agreement' i.e. trade and transport agreement with China.


Within a few months of Oli becoming the Prime Minister, Nepal released its new political map, which depicted some areas of India as Nepal. This was the beginning of his formal tussle with India.


But in March this year, the Communist Party of Nepal broke up and Oli's government was reduced to a minority. The Supreme Court of Nepal had reinstated it, but the ruling party again broke down and Sher Bahadur Deuba, the leader of the Nepali Congress, became the Prime Minister.


Even before being ousted from power, Oli visited Delhi, the same 'protocol' was adopted for him by India as is adopted for any head of state of Nepal. Even during Oli's visit, India did not discuss the controversial steps taken by him.


Flower officials say that Oli kept doing all this, but no statement was given against Nepal from the Prime Minister of India. He says that the generation of Nepal's leaders in the 50s or 80s and 90s was serious about relations with India.


He says, "The current generation of politicians is cut off from the ground. Even when the Maoist movement was at its peak in Nepal, Atal Bihari Vajpayee's government never distanced itself from them. The current political party of Nepal is based on people's expectations. We are not able to live up to it and Nepal has been going through a period of political crisis and instability for a few decades. So, in such a situation, it is time to shine politics by inciting anti-India sentiments.


Professor Harsh V Pant, Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs at King's College, London, says that India has always been a part of domestic politics in Nepal. He says that the reason for this is clear because Nepal and India have strong religious and cultural ties.


India's relations with neighboring countries

As far as India's concerns on Nepal's constitution are concerned, Pant says that it continues between the two countries and especially the neighboring countries. They also say that India can interfere only to a certain extent in the case of any other country and especially the neighboring country and it did so.


Pant said, "Since our relations are very close, so even the smallest things seem big. At the diplomatic level, there have been some mistakes or omissions from India too, due to which the image of India has been tarnished in the mind of the common Nepali. "


Manoj Joshi, a senior journalist with knowledge of foreign affairs, says that anti-India sentiments have already been there in Nepal. He says, "It is not that the economic blockade happened only in the year 2015. A similar blockade happened in the year 1989 as well."


Joshi says that relations between India and Nepal have been showing ups and downs since the 1950s.


In the fifties, India helped King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah and a constitutional monarchy was established in Nepal. But then in later years, India advocated the establishment of democracy in Nepal.


Joshi also believes that India has made many mistakes in matters with its most closely related country, due to which Nepal's trend has increased towards China. He says that India has many advantages from a geographical point of view because Nepal opens towards India, whereas there are chains of large mountains between China and Nepal.


Anyway, they feel that relations also depend on who is running the power in the country. He also says that at present, India's relations are not as cordial with neighboring countries except Bangladesh and Bhutan.

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