KATHMANDU, June 13: The House of Representatives has unanimously passed the Constitution of Nepal Second Amendment Bill 2077 with majority on Saturday to update the national emblem as per the revised administrative map of Nepal that incorporates Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura. The bill sought an amendment on Schedule-3 of the Constitution of Nepal.
A total of 258 voters participated in the voting. All 258 votes have been cast in favor of the proposal to pass the bill, which is more than the two-third majority required for the endorsement. I, therefore, announce that bill proposal has been passed, announced Speaker Agni Sapkota as the House echoed with applause.
The next meeting has been scheduled at 11:00 am on Sunday.
The bill will now be forwarded to the National Assembly for approval. After the upper house passes the bill, it will be certified by the President.
Nepal had released its revised Nepal map on May 20 in response to India’s move of opening a 79-kilometer long link road connecting Mansarovar that passes through Lipulekh on May 8.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal described the move as “unilateral” and asked India to “refrain from carrying out any activities inside Nepali territory”, but India responded saying the road lies in Indian territory.
Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Gyawali had handed a diplomatic note to Indian Ambassador Vinay Mohan Kwatra conveying Nepal’s position on boundary issues.
Nepal has consistently maintained that the territories east of Mahakali river including Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipu Lekh belong to Nepal as per the 1816 Sugauli Treaty.
Days later, Indian Army Chief General Naravane said there “may be external forces involved in the territorial disputes” while accusing Nepal of raising the matter “at the behest of someone else”, prompting China to speak up.
“The issue of Kalapani is between Nepal and India. We hope the two countries will resolve their differences properly through friendly consultations and refrain from taking any unilateral action that may complicate the situation,” clarified Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian.
But Naravane softened his stance on Friday saying Nepal and India a strong bond and will remain the same in the future.
As the public pressure mounted, the government on May 20 released the its revised administrative map including all the disputed territories—which India also described as “unilateral act” and “based on artificial claims”.
The calls for new map had already been in demand six months ago after India, on November 2, released its new map where Nepal claimed territories fell inside Indian border.
Two days after releasing the new Nepal map, the government registered the constitution amendment proposal in the federal parliament. Minister for Law, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Dr Shivamaya Tumbahangphe presented the amendment bill in the parliament on May 24.
Earlier on Tuesday, the lower house had unanimously endorsed a proposal to consider the bill and given the lawmakers 72 hours to bring amendments, if any, to the amendment bill.
A single amendment on the bill demanding to withdraw the second amendment was registered by Janata Samajbadi Party lawmaker Sarita Giri despite warning from her party but the Speaker, after the deliberation began, had rejected amendment proposal as per the rule 112 of the House of Representatives Regulation 2075.