Nepal Parliament unanimously officially agreed new political map | Chronicleplanet.com

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Nepal Parliament unanimously officially agreed new political map

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Nepal Parliament unanimously officially agreed new political map

Nepal’s Parliament on Saturday passed a constitutional amendment to give legal backing to a map depicting disputed areas such as Lipulekh as Nepalese territory, prompting India to say such “artificial enlargement of claims” violates an understanding to resolve boundary issues through talks.

parliament today voted on a constitutional amendment bill in a special session to update the country’s map, which includes a stretch of land high in the mountains that India claims as its own. The House of Representatives opened the discussion on the amendment bill, which was put for voting after the deliberations were over.

According to reports, leading Opposition parties, including Nepali Congress (NC), Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N) and Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), voted in favour of the government bill to amend Schedule 3 of the Constitution to update the national emblem by incorporating the new controversial map.

A two-thirds majority was required in the 275-member House of Representatives or the lower house to pass the bill.

The move is likely to exacerbate strained relations between India and the Himalayan country. In a bid to reach out to Kathmandu ahead of the vote, New Delhi had on Thursday underlined its close cultural, developmental and political ties with the country.

Reacting to the development, the external affairs ministry – which has said in the past that the matter should be resolved through talks – described the passage of the bill as an “artificial enlargement” of Nepal’s territorial claims.

“We have noted that the House of Representatives of Nepal has passed a constitution amendment bill for changing the map of Nepal to include parts of Indian territory. We have already made our position clear on this matter,” said external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava.

The government on Wednesday formed a nine-member team of experts to collect historical facts and evidence related to the area.

Diplomats and experts, however, questioned the government’s move, asking why the task force was formed when the map has already been released and approved by the Cabinet.

The new map – made public last month – shows three areas that India claims as part of its territory as lying within Nepal’s borders. These are Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani.

Once introduced in the National Assembly, the upper house is expected to give lawmakers 72 hours to move amendments against the bill’s provisions, if any. After the National Assembly passes the bill, it will be submitted to the President for authentication and will be incorporated in the Constitution thereafter.

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