July 29, 2019 06:30 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, July 29: An influential leader of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Subramaniyam Swami has said that the economic embargo enforced by the Indian government shortly after Nepal chose to promulgate new constitution against New Delhi's advice in 2015 was a “foolish thing” the BJP government did on the advice of bureaucrats.
Visiting BJP leader Subramaniyam Swami said Nepal should be declared Hindu state as majority of people living in Nepal are Hindu. He also claimed that both India and China were positive about declaring Nepal as Hindu state again.
Former Union Minister Subramaniyam, who is also considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said his meeting with Nepal's Prime Minister KP Oli during his visit to Kathmandu to address the Global Hindu Awakening Conference had helped to remove “many irritants” that persisted between the two countries. “Many irritants removed. Only foolish thing the BJP government did earlier was the blockade on the advice of bureaucrats,” he said on his Twitter post in response to a query if he had done anything to mend the fraught relations.
Swami, however, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi through various bilateral meetings was able to remove the hurt feelings among Nepali people, who had to bear economic embargo in the aftermath of the major earthquake in Nepal. Swami said he had held discussion with Prime Minister Oli for 40 minutes on various issues pertaining to Nepal-India relations.
Swami is among a few Indian politicians, who have publicly acknowledged mistake for enforcing economic sanctions against Nepal just because Nepali political actors did not give heed to defer promulgation of the new constitution. Indian government, however, has been maintaining that there were some disruptions in the supplies from India due to what it described protests on the Nepali side of the border—something Nepali side dismisses.
Addressing the Global Hindu Awakening Conference, Swami said that Nepal should be declared Hindu state as majority of people living in Nepal are Hindu. He also claimed that both India and China were positive about declaring Nepal as Hindu state again.
During his meeting with Prime Minister Oli on Saturday, Swami urged him to introduce Sanskrit in school curricula as they used to exist before in Nepal and promote Hinduism.
Sources said another BJP leader and former member of Lok Sabha, Tarun Vijay, who is seen as an ardent advocate of Nepal as a Hindu state, also held a separate meeting with Prime Minister Oli. Prime Minister's Office has not released any details about the meetings.
The visits by influential BJP leaders come shortly after the visit of the chief of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) — intelligence wing of the Indian government -- Samant Goel to Nepal. Recent high level Indian visits, which have been largely hush-hush in Nepal, have only fueled speculations that a section of the BJP leaders and Indian establishment are working to restore Hindu state in Nepal even as India itself is a secular country.
In a meeting with a delegation of Nepali journalists in Luknow earlier in June, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had expressed hope that Nepal would re-think secularism and restore itself as Hindu state sooner or later.
"Every country has its own distinct identity. Nepal has also its own identity. All the Hindus around the world know Nepal as Hindu state. I believe that Nepal will understand the sentiments of Hindus around the world," he had said.