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‘BJP will form govt in Nepal’: Biplab Deb’s remark draws formal objection from Kathmandu, says it undermines nation’s sovereignty

Tripura chief minister Biplab Deb

Two days after Tripura chief minister Biplab Deb said BJP would one day form its government in Nepal and Sri Lanka, Kathmandu has lodged objections to what many say was made in jest to enthuse party workers. During a public meeting on Sunday, Biplab Deb said that Home Minister Amit Shah had once told him that the BJP would one day expand up to Nepal and Sri Lanka.

However, Nepal has taken a serious view of this remark and lodged a formal objection with India. The Indian Express reports that Nepal Foreign Affairs minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Tuesday said his government had noted the reports, and “formal objections conveyed to the government of India”. Foreign ministry sources told the national daily that Nepal’s Ambassador to India Nilambar Acharya lodged formal objections.

According to IE, the ruling Nepal Communist Party and opposition Nepali Congress criticised Amit Shah’s purported comment, asserting that it amounted to undermining Nepal’s sovereignty.

On Sunday, Biplab Deb said that Amit Shah, when he was party chief, once shared during a meeting with party leaders about expanding the BJP to Nepal and Sri Lanka. Deb also said that Shah’s visionary ideas transformed the BJP into the world’s largest political party. “We were talking at the state guest house in Agartala, when Ajay Jamwal (BJP leader) said that most of the states have BJP in power. In response, Amit Shah said Nepal and Sri Lanka are left. We need to win there as well,” Deb recalled.

Reacting to Deb’s remarks, Tripura BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya said that the state chief minister had spoken the truth about BJP’s long-term ideological ambitions. He said that the party had been working to extend Indian philosophy and culture to different countries for a very long time. “We never consider poll contests as our primary aim. We are considering winning people everywhere,” Bhattacharya said.

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