Nepal’s parliament today voted on a constitutional amendment bill in a special session to update the country’s map, which includes a stretch of land high in the mountains that India claims as its own. All the 258 votes were in favour and the house has a total strength of 275, the amendment bill was passed by a two-third majority.
Last month, Nepal’s ruling party had cleared the map, drawing fierce reaction from India, which described the move as “unilateral” and not based on historical facts. The opposition Nepali Congress had said it would vote in favour of the amendment, amid friction with India over the issue.
Now that it has been passed, it will be sent to the National Assembly where it will undergo a similar process.
The National Assembly will have to give lawmakers 72 hours to move amendments against the bill’s provisions, if any. After the National Assembly passes the bill, it will be submitted to the President for authentication, after which the bill will be incorporated in the Constitution.
The new map – made public last month – shows a sliver of land on the east of river Kali, jutting out from the northwestern tip of Nepal. The area includes the Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand and also Limpiyadhura and Kalapani, which are highly strategic areas which India has been guarding since the 1962 war with China.
India maintains that these are part of Uttarakhand.