Oli urges India to welcome statute

Kathmandu, October 1

CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli today urged India to welcome the new constitution promulgated through a democratic process by the Constituent Assembly.

Oli said all other friendly and neighbouring countries, as well as world organisations, including the UN, had welcomed and commended the constitution.

“India has been supportive of Nepal’s democratic transformations,” the UML Chair said during a press conference organised to give his stance on issues raised by the agitating Madhesi parties to foreign media correspondents based in Kathmandu and representatives of four local English dailies.

He requested India not to view only a few sections of the Nepali people and parties as India’s friends, and added that all political parties of Nepal, the government and all Nepali people are India’s good friends.

Stating that he himself has differences on some provisions of the constitution, Oli said the statute was a document of compromise and it wouldn’t have been issued had all shown inflexibility regarding their agendas.

He said the constitution could be amended to address genuine concerns of Nepal’s populace or to remove irrelevant issues.

He alleged that the Indian side had imposed an ‘unofficial blockade’, by barring essential supplies from entering Nepal and said this had impacted not only transportation but also hit hospitals, schools and the lives of people.

Oli said Nepal did not expect such a response from the Indian side at a time when Nepal was yet to recover from the devastating earthquake of April, just before the major festive seasons and following the promulgation of a new democratic and inclusive constitution.

“Picketing is under way at Raxaul checkpoint, why cargo vehicles are being barred from entering Nepal from Rupaidia and Kakadbhitta entry points?” Oli asked.

Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae had yesterday claimed that Indian side had not imposed any embargo against Nepal, but supplies were hit due to disruption at border checkpoints.

The UML leader said this blockade was a temporary phenomenon and would be removed soon, as Nepali and Indian sides were making efforts to that end.

Earlier today, Oli had a telephone conversation with India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

According to Oli, Singh had reiterated India’s position that no blockade was in place and delay in supplies was due to the obstruction on the Nepali side. Oli said the blockade would invite humanitarian crisis in Nepal and requested early resumption of cargo supplies, according to sources.

He also said most of the demands put forth by the agitating forces had already been incorporated in the constitution and their other genuine concerns would be addressed through talks.