Nepal PM Oli draws ire for anti-India speech

November 17, 2015 12:44 am | Updated March 25, 2016 01:12 am IST

Nepal’s Madhesi Opposition has slammed Prime Minister K. P. Sharma Oli for criticising India in the weekend speech that was his first televised address to the country since taking over as the Prime Minister on October 11.

In his speech , Mr. Oli described the ongoing blockade as “unthinkable in the twenty-first century.”

Speaking to The Hindu , Rajendra Mahato, of Nepal Sadbhavna Party said that the Prime Minister Oli was appealing to the ultra nationalist sections of Nepal by whipping up anti-India sentiments.

Not a solution

“We expected Prime Minister Oli to focus on internal challenges like the blockade. We expected the he would focus on how to restart the talks between the Madhesi Morcha and the government. Anti-India speeches will not solve our problems,” Mr. Mahato told The Hindu .

While the Madhesi leader agreed that Mr. Oli’s speech was extraordinary as it was the first time that a Nepali leader had criticised India in over a public platform, he said that such criticism will serve no purpose in resolving the trust deficit between the two sides. Nepali Congress too has criticised Mr. Oli for speaking harshly about Nepal’s southern neighbour.

In his Sunday speech, Prime Minsiter Oli had accused the Indian Oil Corporation of not delivering fuel despite early and advance payment for fuel. The Prime Minister pointed out that the current blockade will leave a negative impact about India on the younger generation of the Nepali youth.

“The earthquake was projected to push over 5,00,000 people below the poverty line. This blockade is likely to have a more adverse effect.”

‘Mutual respect’

PM Oli repeatedly spoke of “mutual respect” and equality among sovereign nations. The unusual tough tenor of the speech has surprised many but the sagacity behind it is being questioned.

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