Nepal’s former prime minister and chairman of the main opposition CPN-UML, KP Sharma Oli, on Friday promised that he would “take back Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh regions from India through talks” if his party comes to power. 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 claims it as part of Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand and Nepal as part of Dharchula district.
Inaugurating the 10th General Conference of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) in Chitwan, 160 km south of Kathmandu, Oli claimed that if his party came back to power, he would “talk to India through talks at Limpiyadhura, Kalapani”. And will take back the disputed areas like Lipulekh. “We are in favor of solving problems through dialogue and not by enmity with neighbours,” he said.
Nepal tells the road to Uttarakhand as its own
Oli expressed confidence that the CPN-UML will emerge as the single largest political force in the general elections to be held next year. Bilateral ties turned tense after India on May 8, 2020 opened the 80-km-long strategically important road connecting the Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand to Dharchula. Nepal had opposed the opening of the road, claiming that it passes through its territory. A few days later, Nepal came up with a new map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territories. India had reacted sharply to the move.
Indian representatives also took part
In his address, Oli said that his party is “committed to defend the independence and sovereignty of Nepal”. Meanwhile, addressing the inaugural program as the special guest, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba urged all political parties to come together and join hands for the development of the country. Wishing the conference success, he said, “We were all about to draft the Constitution, now the time has come for all of us to move forward for the development of the country.”
Apart from leaders of major political parties of Nepal, representatives of parties from various countries including Bangladesh, India, Cambodia and Sri Lanka also participated in the event. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former minister Harsh Vardhan was among the foreign delegates who attended the opening ceremony of the General Conference.