Kathmandu has issued a clarification over Nepal prime minister KP Sharma Oli’s controversial claim that Hindu deity Ram was born in the Himalayan country and the real Ayodhya, believed to be his birthplace, was not located in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh but was in Nepal. Hisclaims have been widely condemned both in Nepal and India.
A statement from Nepal’s foreign ministry said Oli’s remarks were not political and not meant to disrespect Ayodhya and its significance.
“Remarks made by the prime minister are not linked to any political subject and have no intention to hurt the feelings and sentiments of anyone,” the Nepal foreign ministry’s statement said and added that “the remarks were not meant to debasing the significance of Ayodhya and the cultural value it bears”.
Relations between New Delhi and Kathmandu have recently worsened due to a territorial claim pressed by Oli, which he got endorsed by the country’s parliament through a constitutional amendment. India has rejected Nepal’s claim as untenable and as without any historical evidence or basis.
While Oli’s unexpected territorial claim followed by allegations that India was behind moves to have him dethroned have been rejected by New Delhi, some have looked at it with suspicion even in Nepal, accusing Oli of playing the India card to hide his own government’s alleged failures.
Oli’s recent claim about Lord Rama, too, has drawn sharp reactions from both inside India and Nepal.
Former Nepal PM Baburam Bhattarai had tweeted yesterday to suggest that Oli’s claim was outlandish. “Let’s listen to the new Ramayana of the half-poet Olikrit Kali Yugin! Let’s travel directly to Baikunthadham!” he had said questioning Oli’s credentials on the subject.
He was also slammed by Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, who on Tuesday, said that such a statement shows Oli’s “mental bankruptcy”.
“Oli Ji should know that Nepal has also been a part of Aryavarta (India) in the past,” he added.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said Oli was “parroting”