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Nepal’s new Constitution should be moment of joy: India

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Kathmandu:  India today said completion of Nepal’s new Constitution should be an occasion of joy and not violence, a day before promulgation of the statute following protests on a federal model by Madhesi groups that has spilled over to districts bordering India.

“India has always been strongly supporting constitution- making process in Nepal and we would like its completion be an occasion of joy and satisfaction, not agitation and violence,” Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said, wrapping up his two-day visit to Nepal.

Accompanied by Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae, Jaishankar made the brief remarks at the Tribhuvan International Airport this morning talking to media persons but did not entertain questions.

Jaishankar, who travelled here as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s special envoy, met top leaders here yesterday and underlined the need to address the concerns of all sides while promulgating the new statute. He pointed out this would help protect the achievements of sustainable peace and development.

The Foreign Secretary’s remarks came in the wake of agitating mood of Terai, the southern plains of Nepal, as the country prepares to promulgate its new Constitution tomorrow.

Jaishankar met a wide range of political leadership of Nepal including President Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala. He also met CPN-UML chairman K P Sharma Oli, who is regarded as the future Prime Minister of Nepal and UCPN-Maoist chief Prachanda.

He also met with a number of agitating leaders of Terai including Mahantha Thakur, chairman of Terai Madhes Democratic Party, Upendra Yadav, chairman of Federal Socialist Party Nepal, and Bijaya Gachhadar, chairman of Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum Democratic.

During his brief visit, Jaishankar is learnt to have conveyed India’s concern regarding the agitation in the Terai region as well as goodwill on the constitution-making process.

During his meeting with Nepalese leaders, Jaishankar is also learnt to have expressed India’s concern over the escalating violence in the southern Nepal bordering Indian states over the issue of federal structure.

President Yadav will promulgate the new Constitution at special ceremony here.

Leaders of the major parties have asked the people to light colourful lights to celebrate the occasion as Nepal will have its Constitution written by the people to be promulgated after 66 years of democratic struggle.

However, the agitating Madhesi parties have warned a blackout in the southern plains as they claim that their demands were not incorporated in the Constitution.

Violence surrounding the federal structure that will divide the country into seven provinces has triggered violence in the Himalayan nation, claiming at least 40 lives.

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