KATHMANDU, May 7 (Xinhua)– The Nepalese government recalled its ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay after the ambassador was found playing a role in the exercise to change the current K.P Sharma Oli-led government, a government minister told reporters here on Saturday.
The ambassador was recalled to Kathmandu on Friday after allegedly siding with the country’s main opposition Nepali Congress in supporting a threat by the UCPN (Maoist) party to topple the incumbent government, Defense Minister Bhim Rawal told reporters at an interaction organized by Reporters Club in Kathmandu.
“Upadhyay seemed to play an internal role in the exercise to change the current government, that was the main reason on his recall,” the defense minister said.
“A person like an ambassador should work in line with the government’s policy directives maintaining diplomatic decorum, but Upadhyay flouted the diplomatic norms. This was another reason behind his recall,” the minister observed.
Upadhyay was appointed as the Nepalese ambassador to India by the Sushil Koirala-led government in April 2015.
Nepal’s third largest party the UCPN (Maoist) had warned to pull out of the CPN-UML-led ruling coalition and dislodge the prime minister — a move reportedly backed by India, according to local media reports in Kathmandu. However, the UCPN (Maoist), a key ally of the current government, later decided to continue its alliance.
Earlier on Friday, Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s visit to India, which was scheduled to begin on Monday, was scrapped after the country’s cabinet failed to endorse the trip.
“The president’s visit to India was cancelled due to internal reasons rather than diplomatic ones,” the defense minister told reporters.
“A main reason behind the cancellation of her visit to India is that the Pre-budget session is underway at the Legislature-Parliament where she has to present the government’s policy and programs. The president should not go for foreign trips as her presence is imperative to issue new laws which will be forwarded by the Parliament in a few days,” the minister clarified.
Bhandari, the first woman president of the Himalayan country, was to start a week-long trip to the southern neighbor at the invitation of her Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee.
Bhandari was also scheduled to take part in the Simhastha Kumbh Mela, a religious Hindu event in Ujjain of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
However, foreign affairs experts have criticized the government’s decision to recall the ambassador and cancel the pre-scheduled trip of President Bhandari to India, noting that these developments might trigger fresh standoff between the Nepal and India.
“At a time when the bilateral relationship between India and Nepal was gradually improving after the blockade was lifted in February following the prime minister’s trip to New Delhi, the ambassador’s recall and cancellation of the president’s trip may lead to another phase of diplomatic tensions between the two countries,” a former Nepalese diplomat Dr. Rishiraj Adhikari told Xinhua.