Kathmandu: Already tensed over the massive protest and violence by different political outfits at Birganj on the India-Nepal border, Nepal was rattled when in a sensational press conference at Biratnagar, Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s junior colleague Satya Narayan Mandal demanded that the Indian Army enter Nepal to ensure the rights and security of the people of the Madhes region.
The comments from Mr. Mandal, a Madhesi leader, was the first from any Nepali politician asking for India to intervene militarily in Nepal. His comments drew a sharp condemnatory statement from the Indian Embassy which urged “all responsible persons to refrain from doing or saying anything that may negatively impact on the age-old ties between India and Nepal.”
However, Mr. Mandal’s comments showed that the police action in Birganj has broken the façade of consensus which allowed Prime Minister Oli to draw last moment support from several Madhesi parties during the October 11 prime ministerial election that pitted him against Sushil Koirala of the Nepali Congress.