Former Nepal prime minister K P Sharma Oli has claimed that he was removed from power last year after his government published a new map of Nepal that included Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh as its territories.
The Lipulekh pass is a far western point near Kalapani, a disputed border area between Nepal and India. Both India and Nepal claim Kalapani as an integral part of their territory – India as part of Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district and Nepal as part of Dharchula district.
Speaking on the occasion of the release of a book entitled ‘Chakravyuha Ma Nepal Ko Jalashrot’ (Conspiracy surrounding Nepalese Water Resources), K P Sharma Oli said: “There cannot be any dispute that the territories including Kalapani belong to Nepal because the Sugauli Treaty signed between Nepal and East India Company clearly mentions that the territories on the West of Mahakali river belong to Nepal.” “But these territories were removed from Nepal and I was well aware that I would be forced out from power after these territories were included in Nepalese side,” claimed K P Sharma Oli, the chairman of the main Opposition CPN-UML.
K P Sharma Oli along with former Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur Chanda and former Water Resources Minister Pashupati Shumsher Rana jointly released the book authored by former water resources secretary Dwarika Nath Dhungel amidst a function in Kathmandu on Monday.
Former Nepalese ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyaya said that multipurpose use of the Nepalese water resources will be the basis of economic prosperity. He wondered why India and Nepal could not share water resources on the basis of international agreements.
India’s bilateral ties with Nepal came under strain under then Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli after India opened an 80-km-long strategically crucial road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on May 8, 2020.
Nepal protested the inauguration of the road claiming that it passed through its territory. Days later, Nepal came out with a new map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territories. India reacted sharply to the move.
In June last year, Nepal’s Parliament approved the new political map of the country featuring areas that India maintains belong to it.
After Nepal released the map, India reacted sharply, calling it a “unilateral act” and cautioning Kathmandu that such “artificial enlargement” of territorial claims will not be acceptable to it.