Nepal raises objection to Biplab Deb's 'BJP expansion' remark
New Delhi, Feb 17: Nepal has conveyed a "formal objection" against Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb's remarks that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has planned to expand in neighbouring countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Tuesday confirmed that the Government of Nepal has conveyed its formal objection to the remarks by India's ruling party leader.
"Noted. Formal objection has been already conveyed," Gyawali said in a tweet in response to a Nepali Twitter user, who had drawn his attention to the statement.
Nepal's ambassador to India Nilamber Acharya has already conveyed the government's official objection to Arindam Bagchi, a joint secretary who is in-charge of Nepal and Bhutan affairs at India's Ministry of External Affairs, My Republica newspaper reported, citing sources.
Deb was quoted in media reports as saying that the BJP was planning to extend its footprint in Sri Lanka and Nepal.
On Saturday, Deb said Shah, when serving as BJP president, had told party leaders that the BJP would establish rule in other regional countries as part of 'Atmanirbhar South Asia' initiative.
Deb said the BJP deeply valued the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) partnership. Nepal is a member of SAARC.
On Monday, Sri Lanka's Election Commission Chairman Nimal Punchihewa shot down reports of the BJP planning to set up a political unit in the island nation, saying the country's electoral law does not permit such an arrangement.
"Any Sri Lankan political party or group is permitted to have external links with any party or group overseas. But, our electoral laws do not permit overseas political parties to work here," Punchihewa told reporters in Colombo.