India’s reaction to the new constitution of Nepal has united the top mainstream parties of the country like they have never done before. They have come under a single umbrella to counter India. According to TOI
report, Nepali Congress (NC) Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) and Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) are forgetting their old differences to stand strong and firm against what they call India’s efforts to customise their country’s new constitution to its requirements.
AP Photo/Ram Sarraf
New Delhi has shown concern and sympathy for the demands of Madhesis (Maithili, Bhojpuri, Avadhi, Hindi and Urdu-speaking people) who are asking for more representation and autonomy in the new constitution.
“Delhi seems to have lost much of its goodwill in the rest of Nepal by supporting only one section of the population. The Nepali people will take a long time to get over this,” reported TOI quoting a Nepali diplomat.
Nepal has approached the United Nations over the blockade of main border trade point with India which has resulted in shortage of goods in their country.
It has also appealed the international community to ensure that that land-locked countries’ freedom of transit is not curtailed. Former prime ministers of Nepal, Sher Bahadur Deuba (NC) and Madhav Kumar Nepal (CPN-UML), have called it “India’s undeclared blockade”.
Khadga Prasad Oli (UML) who is tipped to become the next Prime Minister of Nepal has also strongly objected to the closure of supply points to Nepal by the Indian government.
As the country slides into the chaos over the Madhesi protests, former Prime Minister and the leader of UCPN-M Baburam Bhattarai has started the debate on the nature of Nepali nationalism vis-a-vis India.
Bhattarai quit UCPN-M days after the constituent assembly passed the constitution, which he too had supported, saying that he will fight for the rights of Madhesis and Tharus.
Both communists, mainstream and underground leaders oppose India-Nepal treaties on water resources and trade. They have accused India for turning Nepal into a captive market. They are demanding abrogation of the India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship 1950, saying it benefits New Delhi more than their country. India had previously pressurised Nepal over purchase of arms from China in 1988. India had later changed its stand and allowed Kathmandu to buy weapons from other countries to fight the Maoists.