Nepal has released its new political map claiming Kalapani, Lipiyadhura and Lipulekh as its own territories. These areas fall into the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand and within the same region through which new Kailash Mansarovar route passes.
Nepal has included them as a part of its Byas [Byans in India] Rural Municipality of Darchula district adjoining Pithoragarh. you'll read historical perspective of the dispute here.
Unveiling Nepal's new political map that has territories on Wednesday, central minister Padma Kumar Aryal expressed hope India will take it "in a positive way". this is often an unusual optimism to settle a boundary question.
Aryal didn't elaborate her "positive" remark. Given the character of India-Nepal relation, however, indicates that the Nepal government hopes India will think about what's happening domestically in Nepal's politics.
THE BACKSTORY: OLI'S PM CHAIR
Nepal is being ruled by a comparatively upstart party , the Nepal Communist Party (NCP), which turned two over last weekend. The two-year-old party came into being with China's ruling Communist Party after merger of two dominant communist parties of Nepal - the Marxist-Leninist and therefore the Maoist.
Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli shares the chair of the Nepal Communist Party with Pushpa Kumar Dahal, more commonly referred to as Prachanda. Oli is from the Marxist-Leninist stream and Prachanda from Maoist faction.
Oli became the prime minister following an electoral victory in 2017 and a compromise between the 2 factions within the ruling party in 2018. But his position within the Nepal's PMO has not been secure. There has been pressure on him to form way for a Maoist prime minister.
Covid-19 outbreak in Nepal and therefore the failure of the Oli government to manage the disease within the country only mounted pressure on the prime minister, who wasn't able to abandoning the reins of the facility out of his hand.
Though, he once proposed to resign in favour of Bamdev Gautam. But the opposite factions, particularly the one under Prachanda and Madhav Kumar Nepal didn't agree.
COVID-19 (UN)RELATED ORDINANCES
Then within the middle of Covid-19 outbreak, the Oli government promulgated two ordinances on April 20. They weren't associated with Covid-19 strategy. These laws amended the Political Parties Act of Nepal making it easier to separate a celebration .
This move baffled political observers because the Nepal Communist Party has majority within the country's parliament. This, however, exposed the fault-lines lying beneath the surface unity of the party, and also the growing pressure on Oli to quit.
The Kathmandu Post reported that the approval for the ordinances from President Bidya Devi Bhandari came while a secretariat meeting was underway to debate the ordinances. The daily called it "well-choreographed move".
Soon after the ordinances were brought out, the rival faction stepped up ante against Oli. Prachanda took charge of the rival faction forcing Oli to withdraw the ordinances in four days.
INDIA, JUST A SMOKESCREEN
This was also the time when Chinese ambassador in Nepal got involved holding meetings with both factions and also with President Bhandari. A compromise was reached. But popular opinion was going against the govt and therefore the ruling party.
Some time in between a technique was devised to deflect public attention from crisis within the government and its failure to tackle Covid-19 crisis. National pride became the point . Oli features a history of thriving on anti-India sentiments.
India soon opened new Kailash Mansarovar route through Lipulekh pass. Nepal protested. The November 2019 updated map released by India provided the launchpad .
India had released its new political map following creation of two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh from erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. The map are often seen here.
Nepal had then protested over inclusion of Kalapani in India's map. India had then said its boundaries with Nepal had not been altered within the new map.
Six months later, Nepal has now released its new political map. Its old map obviously didn't show Kalapani, Lipiyadhura and Lipulekh as its territories. These areas haven't been under Nepal's administration.
There is more to Kalapani story and Oli's anti-India stance. During his first term as Nepal's prime minister, there was a constitutional crisis in Nepal fueling anti-India sentiments with India unofficially imposing blockade for months. To counter India, Oli had signed a series of agreements with China.
His remark that novel coronavirus from India is more lethal than the variants from Italy and China, is convenient politicking to boost an anti-India sentiment among his political constituencies.
THE DARK WATERS OF KALAPANI
It was also during his first tenure that a committee had been formed in Nepal to seem into the claim over Kalapani. The committee reported that Kalapani was occupied by India.
There is another contesting claim in Nepal. That Kalapani was included in their Census record till some sixty years ago.
Nepal's secretary of state Mahendra Bahadur Pande had in 2015 claimed that Kalapani was "gifted" to India by King Mahendra Bikram Shah Dev of Nepal apparently within the aftermath of 1962 India-China war to stop future incursions from China.
India has been patrolling and manning the border areas since then. India-Nepal approach the western flank is essentially marked under the Treaty of Sugauli signed in 1816 between Nepal's king and Malay Archipelago Company. British had kept control of Kalapani.
The entire area in controversy may be a geo-strategic viewpoint for being a tri-junction - India, Nepal and Tibet -- in rugged Himalayan terrain. China has been curious about happy sway over the world .
The current anti-India posturing by Nepal has clearly stemmed from Oli's domestic political compulsions and his party's pro-China stance. it's from this flux Nepal minister Aryal perhaps hoped India would take the new map of Nepal during a positive way. The new map doesn't change the bottom situation. And, also the ultimate boundary delineation would come from the boundary dispute settlement mechanism that involves the foreign secretaries of the 2 countries.