Three days after Nepal’s Lower House unanimously passed a bill to amend the constitution to endorse the country’s new political map and two days after the bill went to the Upper House for approval, New Delhi is trying to reach out to Kathmandu for talks, according to Indian media reports.
The Indian Express newspaper reported on Tuesday that New Delhi is willing to hold talks with Kathmandu on the boundary dispute if the KP Sharma Oli government there creates a “conducive atmosphere” and “positive situation”.
Citing “government sources” in Delhi, the paper said feelers have been sent to the Oli government “to pause the process of getting parliamentary sanction for the country’s new map and come to the table for talks.”
Earlier on Monday, India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hailed Nepal-India relationships as very special, in what came as Delhi’s bid for rapprochement with Kathmandu in the wake of straining ties between the two countries.
“The relationship between the two countries is not an ordinary one, but one that is bound by roti and beti–livelihood and marriage–and can never be severed,” said Rajnath Singh while addressing BJP workers in Uttarakhand at a virtual rally.
“If there is any misunderstanding between India and Nepal, then we will sort it out through dialogue,” Singh said.
It was after Singh’s inauguration of a road link via Lipulekh to Kailash Mansarovar in the Tibetan Autonomous Region on May 8 that recent tensions between the two countries had flared up.
Back in November also India’s publication of a new political map placing Kalapani within Indian borders had led to souring of ties between the two countries.
Since then, Nepal, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had sought dates from Delhi for talks, at least twice.
The ministry said on May 9 it was still “awaiting response” from Delhi.
The Nepal government on May 20 published its new political map depicting Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura within its territories.
Subsequently, on June 13, the Lower House approved it unanimously.