New Delhi: With Nepal mired in political uncertainty, India on Wednesday said that the ongoing developments were “internal matters” of the Himalayan nation.
The Indian statement was the first one by any foreign country about the latest political moves in Nepal.
“We have taken note of the recent political developments in Nepal. We view these as internal matters of Nepal to be dealt by them under their own domestic framework and democratic processes,” said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
After Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli had claimed that he wouldn’t seek a trust vote, President Bidya Devi Bhandari had dissolved the House of Representatives last Friday and announced fresh elections in November. This was the second time in five months that the lower house of parliament had been dissolved on the recommendation of the prime minister.
After its dissolution in December 2020, the House of Representatives had reinstated in February by the Supreme Court, which described the move as “unconstitutional”.
On Monday, 146 members filed a joint petition in the Supreme Court seeking reinstatement of the House of Representatives and the appointment of National Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba as prime minister. The ruling party, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) (CPN-UML), is also set to split, with 23 party members, including former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, also signing the petition.
“As a neighbour and friend, India remains unwavering in its support for Nepal and its people on their journey toward progress, peace, stability and development,” said Bagchi.
Despite Oli’s moves to reach out to India, New Delhi has remained visibly aloof from the political upheavals at Kathmandu. This is unlike the Chinese ambassador who had been publicly meeting Nepalese leaders last year amidst speculation about an imminent split in the unified communist party.
Nepal is also in the midst of a devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has stretched the health infrastructure to near collapse.
More than 8,300 new coronavirus cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, taking the nationwide infection tally to 528,848.
The Himalayan nation is also facing shortages of vaccines to immunise its population and oxygen to treat COVID-19 patients.