'Nepal faces many challenges in lack of proper physical infrastructure and technologies'

Prakash Chandra Lohani-led Unified Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Rastrabadi (URPP-R) recites the importance of establishing Nepal-India cultural relations that could yield positive results for both countries. Suresh Chaudhary of the THT Online caught up with Bharat Jung Upreti, the general secretary of URPP-R, to learn the insight about the development Nepal could make with the aid from its neighbouring countries. Excerpts:

KATHMANDU: General Secretary of Unified Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Rastrabadi (URPP-R), Bharat Jung Upreti on Sunday said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Nepal has yielded positive results for both countries.

The URPP-R General secretary, who has been receiving treatment against obstructive jaundice, was discharged from Tribhuvan Univeristy Teaching Hospital recently. Various political leaders and public figures including Prakash Chandra Lohani, Arjun Narshing KC, Additional Inspector General of Police Devendra Jung Subedi, Professor Ram Prasad Upreti among others visited him at the hospital and wished for his good health.

How do you view Indian PM's Nepal visit?

General public seems to be confused with the definition of Nationalism. India-biased people reproach China, and China-biased people and vice-versa. Nationalism is not about condemning another country but rather loving. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did better homework before embarking on Nepal visit. The Indian PM indirectly regretted the unofficial blockade imposed on Nepal by behaviour rather than saying it in public. He invited the Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and gave much respect in India. Definitely, Modi has used his religious visit as a strategy prepared for electioneering. Modi has gained people, ration card holders, especially, non-resident Nepalis.

What benefit has Nepal achieved with Indian PM's Nepal visit?

The promotion of religious tourism is the immediate benefit the country has received as the Indian PM said he had come to Nepal as 'prime pilgrim' rather than 'prime minister' . The religious tourism is the immediate benefit.

To what extent the country should rely on its neighbouring countries for the development?

Receiving the financial aid from India and China is not the key to development. Currently, Nepal faces many challenges in lack of proper physical infrastructure and technologies. The country should prioritise its agenda for developing these sectors. The country should consider on asking help from its neighbouring countries to establish technical training workshops and school. Nepal can benefit the must from both technology giants — India and China.

What do you see in Madhesi people, are they being led by nationalist senteiments?

Well, some references used during the speech at the civic felicitation in Janakpur had violated diplomatic norms and values. We should neither tolerate bullying nor abandon national interest.

What is URPP-R doing currently?

Currently, the party's province level training is underway in all provinces. The party leaders including central members have been engaged in training its cadres alongside analysing the party's polls debacle as well as sorting out problems. The party's District Working Committees have been organising programmes in different districts prevailing political ideology and picking members, in all 77 districts. The party has yet to form regional and municipal working Committee.

Dipendra Bhandari is the incharge of Province. Province 2 has incharges Ram Pratap Sah Bohra, Brij Lal Yadav.Similarly, Province 3 has the party's general secretary Shyam Timilsina as incharge. Province 4 has vice president Rishi Babu Pariyar, Province 5 has Joint General Secretary Kailash Gurung, Province 6 has Joint General Secretary Birkha Bahadur Kathayat, and Province 7 has General Secretary Tirtha shrestha. Recently, the party has also working on accruing its National Youth Association to national level.

Is there any possibility of RPP unification?

Not at the moment. But yes, with Haribol Bhattarai-led BP Congress. The process is underway to merge URPP-R and BP Congress. There will be unification of former KMC Mayor Bhattarai's BP path with URPP-R's Prithvi path. As many as 31 fringe political parties are about to unify with URPP-R. But there is no possibility of merging with Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) at the moment. However, it is important to be unified to become a national level political party.

What did you do when you were serving as cultural counsellor in India on behalf of Nepal?

While I was serving as a cultural counsellor, in New Delhi, I had proposed for 'Indo-Nepal cultural relation' agreement and sent an official document to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nepal, 20 years ago. The MoFA did not give any importance to my proposal at that time. And now, it seems Nepal should have done and need to do now, as Indian Prime Minister Modi emphasised Nepal-India relation as cultural. India has cultural relation with 120 countries but not with Nepal. Nepal and India share common religion 'Hinduism'. Cultural diplomacy is needed to further strenghten the bilateral relations. Nevertheless, there is one BP foundation that has been running with the help of aids, Nepal and India both support the foundation which has limitation.

What kind of relation should Nepal have with its neighbours?

Inferiorority complex should not be mixed up with nationalism sentiments. Nepal should have good relations with both India as well as China. Nepal can benefit from China also. China does not envy the Indian Prime Minister's Nepal visit. China has better diplomacy strategy.