Will bring back Nepal's territories from India if elected: Oli
Former Nepal prime minister KP Sharma Oli on Friday claimed that if his party returns to power in November 20's parliamentary election, it will reclaim the Himalayan nation's territories claimed under India. While inaugurating his party's nationwide election campaign near the Nepal-India border, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) supremo said they "will bring back land, including Lipulek, Kalapani, and Limpiyadhura."
'Will not spare even an inch of our land'
The 70-year-old also added that his party is committed to defending the nation and "will not spare even an inch of our land." Meanwhile, Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba revealed efforts to bring back Nepal's encroached land were underway based on diplomatic initiatives and mutual relations. Deuba's remarks also came during the launch of his election campaign, right after Oli made his claims.
India-Nepal ties at loggerheads
The bilateral ties between India-Nepal came under strain under former PM Oli after India opened an 80-km-long strategically crucial road, linking the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on May 8, 2020. Nepal opposed the inauguration and claimed that it passed through its territory. Later, Nepal released a new map showing Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura, and Kalapani as its territories, to which India reacted sharply.
Nepal's 'unilateral act'
In June 2021, Nepal's Parliament officially approved the new political map of the country, which featured parts that India maintains belong to it. After this release, India reacted by calling the new map a "unilateral act" and warned that such "artificial enlargement" of territorial claims would not be acceptable. Meanwhile, Oli had accused India of presenting a fake origin of the river Kali.
Lipulekh pass dispute
The Lipulekh pass is situated close to Kalapani on the far western point, a disputed border area between India and Nepal. Both India and Nepal look at Kalapani as a critical part of their territory - Nepal as part of the Dharchula district and India as part of the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand.