International

Recalled envoy takes on Oli

Deep Kumar Upadhyay criticises Nepal government for treating him ‘unfairly’

A day after Nepal accused India of supporting a political plot to replace the government in Kathmandu with alleged help from the ambassador of Nepal in Delhi, the envoy, Deep Kumar Upadhyay, who was recalled, criticised Kathmandu for treating him “unfairly” and declared that he will fight a political battle against the Nepali government.

“I am yet to receive a written text communicating to me what are my mistakes,” Mr. Upadhyay told The Hindu on Sunday and speculated that India might also take certain reciprocal diplomatic steps which might add more volatility to the nose-diving bilateral ties.

Public life

“I will return to my roots, among my people and will resume a public life as there is pressure from the people for me to join political process in Nepal,” Mr. Upadhyay, who is member of the Nepali Congress (NC), said, adding that he had handled extremely difficult issues like the economic blockade during his tenure in Delhi and deserved a better deal from the government of Prime Minister K. P. Sharma Oli.

Explaining the developments, Nepali Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa on Sunday told Parliament that the recalling of Mr. Upadhyay and cancellation of the India visit of President Vidhya Devi Bhandari were unrelated issues. However, he was criticised by the opposition Nepali Congress for attempting a belated damage control. “I would like to know under which rule of the foreign service of Nepal the government dismissed my services,” Mr. Upadhyay said following Mr. Thapa’s comments.

Nepali Congress’ support

Mr. Upadhyay found support from the Nepali Congress (NC). “Blaming the ambassador of Nepal in Delhi for being unpatriotic is unfair. It shows immature political and diplomatic decision making by the Oli government,” Member of Parliament Bimalendra Nidhi of the NC told The Hindu on the phone from Kathmandu.

Mr. Nidhi said his party, which tried to form an alternative government by breaking the ruling coalition, would try once again to do so. The party would act once the “next opportunity arises.”

“As a democratic party, we will maintain the dharma of opposition and will play our expected role to replace the government when we have adequate numbers in our favour. Mr. Oli is leading a coalition government and therefore his government cannot be as stable as it is expected to be,” Mr. Nidhi said and added that the crisis was triggered on May 3-4 when ex-Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, a member of the ruling coalition, drove to Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba and requested him to create a political formation combining the UCPN-Maoist which he leads, and the NC. “The coalition partners of Mr. Oli, are no longer feeling comfortable in his company. It is a matter of time before they fall apart,” he predicted.

Speaking to The Hindu, Prof. Mahendra P. Lama, member of the Eminent Persons Group created by India and Nepal, however, advised restraint. “Given the unstable condition of the Government of Nepal, India must clearly and consciously stay away from Nepali politics and avoid any hasty response.”

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 1:33:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/recalled-envoy-takes-on-oli/article8573233.ece

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