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Last Updated : Jul 14, 2020 09:44 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

'Lord Ram is Nepali, not Indian': Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli stirs up a hornet's nest

Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli reportedly said Lord Ram's birthplace of Ayodhya is not located in Uttar Pradesh but near the Balmiki Ashram in Nepal.

File Photo 2016 -- Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli (REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar)
File Photo 2016 -- Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli (REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar)

Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, on July 13, stoked a fresh controversy after he said the "real Ayodhya" lies in Nepal and that "Lord Ram is Nepali".

"Real Ayodhya lies in Nepal, not in India. Lord Ram is Nepali not Indian," news agency ANI cited Nepalese media quoting PM Oli.

Oli reportedly said Ram's birthplace of Ayodhya is not located in Uttar Pradesh but near the Balmiki Ashram in Nepal.

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The neighbouring country shares a border with Uttar Pradesh.

"Till now, we have remained under the belief that Ram, the man Sita married, was an Indian... he was not, he was a Nepali," Oli reportedly said.

Tensions have been simmering between India and Nepal for some time. Recently, they intensified after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated an 80-kilometre-long strategically crucial road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on May 8.

Read Also: Explained | How the Kalapani issue is upsetting Indo-Nepal ties

Nepal reacted sharply to India's move as it claimed that the region falls under Nepalese territory, a claim which New Delhi has consistently rejected.

Last month, Nepal went a step further after it updated the country's political map through a Constitutional amendment, encompassing three strategically important Indian areas – Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura.

India has termed the "artificial enlargement" of the territorial claims by Nepal as "untenable". New Delhi has reportedly handed over a diplomatic note to Nepal over the map issue.

Meanwhile, a crucial meeting of Nepal's ruling communist party to decide the political future of the embattled prime minister was postponed on July 10 once again, citing floods in the country, amidst calls for his resignation over his style of functioning and anti-India statements.

Top Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaders, including former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', have demanded PM Oli's resignation, saying his recent anti-India remarks were "neither politically correct nor diplomatically appropriate."

The differences between the two factions of the NCP -- one led by Oli and the other led by party's executive chairman 'Prachanda' on the issue of power-sharing -- has recently intensified after the prime minister unilaterally decided to prorogue the Budget session of Parliament.
First Published on Jul 13, 2020 11:11 pm
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