'India does not support any one political group in Nepal'

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Kathmandu, Mar 27: While acknowledging that multi-faceted Indo-Nepal ties witnessed "ups and downs" recently following the anti-Constitution agitation by Madhesis, India has described as a "misconception" the notion that it supports any one political group in Nepal.

"There is a misconception that India supports any one group. We have a policy for Nepal...not for any one group," Ranjit Rae, India's Ambassador here, said.

'India does not support any one political group in Nepal'

Rae was asked about his country's stand vis-a-vis political parties representing Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin who have raised concerns over certain provisions in the new Constitution.

Madhesis reside in Terai region bordering India. Late last year, a four-month long agitation by Madhesis virtually crippled the landlocked country as the stir, which saw sporadic violence, severely affected supply of essential items through trade routes along Indo-Nepal border.

Nepal had accused India of imposing a proxy blockade by backing the Madhesis.

"India and Nepal share strong and multi-faceted relations which have seen ups and downs. Our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has visited (Nepal) twice in the last two-and- a-half years. This shows the importance India attaches to Nepal," Rae said when asked about the current status of bilateral ties.

He was interacting with a visiting group of Indian journalists at a tourism event organised over the weekend by state-run Nepal Airlines and KGH Group of Hotels, a leading player in local hospitality sector.

Asked about issues raised by Madhesis, Rae said "we have already welcomed two amendments made in the Constitution by the Nepal Government."

The amendments (made in January) referred to by the envoy related to proportionate and inclusive representation of all marginalised communities, including the Madhesis, in all state mechanisms and allocation of seats in Parliament on the basis of population. However, Madhesis are still not satisfied.

They are opposing carving out of seven provinces under the Constitution and demanding adequate protection of their rights. Asked about this, Rae said all issues should be resolved through dialogue in a peaceful and democratic manner.

To a query about the China factor in Indo-Nepal ties, the Ambassador said Beijing, too, wants political stability, peace and development in the Himalayan nation.

"India and China want stability and development in Nepal. Nepal is a complex society. It has faced violence, insurgency in the past."

PTI

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