Nepal takes Tripura CM’s statement up with India’s external affairs ministry | The Daily Star
06:57 PM, February 16, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:01 PM, February 16, 2021

Nepal takes Tripura CM’s statement up with India’s external affairs ministry

Nepal has taken exception to a recent statement by Biplab Kumar Deb, chief minister of Tripura state of India, in which Deb quoted India's Home Minister Amit Shah as saying that the Bharatiya Janata Party would soon form its government in Nepal.

A Nepali diplomat in the Nepali embassy in New Delhi told The Kathmandu Post over the phone that Ambassador Nilamber Acharya telephoned Arindam Bagchi, joint secretary in-charge of Nepal and Bhutan at India's Ministry of External Affairs, and expressed his reservations about Deb's statement.

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Deb on February 13 said that Shah during his visit to Tripura had during a tea party with the state leadership had said that he had plans to establish the party in neighbouring countries after winning in most of the states in India, according to The East Mojo.

"We were talking in the state guest house when Ajay Jamwal (North-East Zonal Secretary of BJP) said that BJP has formed its government in several states of India, in reply Shah said, Now Sri Lanka and Nepal is left," Deb said quoting Shah, the East Mojo reported. "We have to expand the party in Sri Lanka, Nepal and win there to form a government."

According to the Nepali diplomat in Delhi, Ambassador Acharya expressed displeasure at the statement and has sought a clarification.

The Indian side has assured that they will clarify the matter during a regular presser on Thursday by India's Ministry of External Affairs.

The Nepali diplomat added that Bagchi told Ambassador Acharya that the ministry has taken note of Deb's statement, saying that they have also noticed some reports circulating in various Indian newspapers, which is unfortunate.

"Do you think people like Home Minister Shah might have made such unfounded and baseless claims," the official quoted India's external affairs ministry official as telling Acharya. "We don't believe in such statements, but we will make our position public soon."

Deb's statement was widely condemned by various political leaders of India.

According to The Wire, CPI (M) leader and former Member of Parliament Jitendra Chaudhary said that the chief minister does not have any understanding of the constitution and democracy. He added that Amit Shah's statements, as claimed by Deb, amounted to India's interference in internal affairs of a foreign country.

The CPI (M) leader alleged that the home minister of India was engaged in a "state conspiracy against Nepal" and the evidence was given by no less than by a person holding a constitutional post in the state of Tripura.

Chaudhary said that Deb's statement cannot be taken casually and demanded a response from the BJP top leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to The Wire.

Meanwhile, the Indian National Congress, the primary opposition of India, also protested the statement of Tripura chief minister.

"Such foolish claims by people like these," the party said in a tweet with the image of Deb, "Our country's relations with neighbouring countries have reached a new low."

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