Amid border dispute with India, Nepal Parliament passes bill to redraw political map
NATIONAL | JUNE 13, 2020:
The Parliament of Nepal has unanimously endorsed a proposal to consider the Constitution amendment bill to pave way for endorsing the new political map amid the border row with India, on June 9.
It opened the discussion on the amendment bill, which was put for voting after the deliberations were over. A total of 258 members in a house of 275, voted in favour of the amendment bill; hence, the bill was passed by a two-third majority.
Meanwhile, the major Opposition parties that include Nepali Congress (NC), Rashtriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N), and Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) had 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.
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The relation between India and Nepal came under strain after the former inaugurated an 80-km-long strategically crucial road last month, connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand.
Following the inauguration of the road, Nepal had reacted sharply claiming that the road passes through Nepal's territory; however, India rejected the claims and asserted that the road lies completely within the Indian territory.
Last month, Nepal had released a revised political and administrative map of the country laying claim over the strategically key areas; but India has been maintaining that these areas belonged to it.
India had sternly asked Nepal not to resort to any "artificial enlargement" of territorial claims after Kathmandu released the new map.
The bill will now be sent to the National Assembly where it will undergo a similar process. The ruling Nepal Communist Party commands a two-third majority in the National Assembly (NA).
The National Assembly will have 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, after which the bill will be incorporated in the Constitution.
(With inputs from ANI)