Will sort out differences with Nepal through talks: Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh. File.  

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said whatever differences had arisen between India and Nepal over the construction of the Lipulekh-Dharchula road would be be resolved through talks and that India and Nepal ties went beyond mere georgraphical or political ties to spiritual connections and a “roti-beti vyavahar” (consanguinity and inter-dining, a sociological term to describe close kinship relations).

Mr. Singh was addressing the Uttarakhand unit of the BJP as part of a series of Jan Samvad virtual rallies organised by the party. He began by speaking about how the construction of the Lipulekh-Dharchula road would reduce the Kailash Mansarovar yatra by six days.

Editorial | No longer special: On India-Nepal ties

“The construction of the Lipulekh-Dharchula road which is on Indian territory, will reduce the length of the Kailash Mnsarovar Yatra by six days. We are hearing of some misunderstanding by the Nepalese government over the construction of this road, whatever that misunderstanding is, it can be resolved through talks. India and Nepal’s ties go beyond mere geographical or political ties, these are spiritual ties. Can we forget the connection between Baba Pashupatinath and Baba Amarnath? We have a roti-beti ka vyavahar. The Indian Army’s Gorkha regiment has the war cry “Jai Mahakali, Aayo ri Gorkhali”, Maa Kali is workshipped in Bengal, in Poorvanchal, in Uttarakhand, how can ties like this be bitter? I want to state unequivocally that no Indian can ever harbour bitterness about Nepal, our relationship is beyond the ordinary relationship between countries,” he said.

Mr. Singh’s comments come at a time when the Nepalese Parliament has endorsed certain changes in the country’s map including areas that India claims as its own. Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Oli has, in his address to the people, blamed India for inflicting a particularly virulent strain of the coronavirus to the Himalayan country. A couple of days ago, the Nepalese police opened fire on Indian villagers, killing one, for being on Nepalese soil in Bihar’s Sitarmarhi.

The Ministry of External Affairs has disapproved of the Nepalese Parliament’s decision on endorsing the new map, but Mr. Singh’s statements point to a more proactive move of talking things out.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 2:50:39 PM |

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