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BJP's Prasad urges prudence

  Says geography-based federalism a better move

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

KATHMANDU: A senior leader of India’s opposition party today suggested that Nepal should adopt a federal model based on geography rather than ethnicity.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Deputy Chief of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party at Rajya Sabha, feared that ethnic violence and chaos could prevail if the states were carved out in Nepal based on ethnicity. “Even Indian experience of federal states based on ethic lines in the northeast region has been realised as a wrong approach,” Prasad said while addressing a seminar Republic Nepal: Emerging Hopes and Prospects at the Hotel Everest today. “Northeast states have become economically backward and have been mired in ethnic violence.” “Given its high-cultural mix, it will be in the best interest of Nepal if it carved out the states on the basis of geography,” Prasad added.

Prasad arrived yesterday in Kathmandu to take part in the seminar organised by the Nepal-Bharat Sahayog Munch, leading a four-member delegation, including Ajit Kumar, Nepal Cell chief of BJP.

Prasad called on President Ram Baran Yadav and top political leaders, including Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala and senior CPN-UML leader KP Oli, today.

Deepak Adhikari, a member of the Nepal-Bharat Sahayog Munch, told THT that Prasad also urged the Nepali leaders, including President Yadav, to learn from the Indian experience while demarcating the states. During his meetings, Prasad told Nepali leaders that the election was the only way to bring the politics on track and voiced strongly for democratic institutions in Nepal. “Democracy and economy are two sides of a coin,” a source quoted Prasad. Prasad met former prime minister and senior UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal yesterday.

The BJP leader also opined that a republic Nepal can also be a Hindu state. He also emphasised on the importance of regular talks and interactions between top politicians of Nepal and India in order to better understand each-other’s issues.

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