‘New constitution will contribute to peace, prosperity and stability’

India has welcomed the successful conduct of free and fair elections in Nepal on Tuesday for the Constituent Assembly-cum-Parliament, describing them as an “important step towards realising Nepal’s goal of a democratic and prosperous future.”

India believes that the early promulgation of a new Constitution, together with progress on the development agenda, will contribute to peace, prosperity and stability in Nepal.

As a close friend and neighbour, India stands ready to support the government and people of Nepal in their historic endeavours, said official sources in the Ministry of External Affairs. Describing the turnout as impressive, the official said this reflected the faith that Nepalese have reposed in the democratic process.

The Indian government, on its part, extended logistical support for the smooth conduct of elections, in accordance with the request from Kathmandu.

India has given over 900 vehicles to security agencies, the Nepalese Election Commission and the Government of Nepal to ease movement over difficult terrain.

It has also provided security for the transit of ballot papers from the printing press in India to the Nepal border. India also activated the standard operating procedure of close coordination and control of any cross-border criminal activities.

With elections being more or less peaceful, Nepal watchers feel the poll boycott group led by a former Prachanda ally may have boxed itself in a corner. Once a Constituent Assembly is established, they will not be part of the process of Constitution drafting.