KATHMANDU: The cancellation of Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s visit to India and the government’s decision to call back its ambassador in New Delhi for non- cooperation and anti-government activities on Saturday made headlines in major newspapers here
“Ambassador Deep Kumar Upadhyaya has been accused not only of non-cooperation by the coalition government but also of breaching his jurisdiction time and again without informing the government,” a Nepali newspaper reported.
Upadhyaya had “confronted” Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli regarding the cancellation of President Bhandari’s scheduled visit to India, government sources had said.
He has also been accused of visiting western districts of the country accompanying Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae without informing the government.
Hours after the government cancelled Bhandari’s proposed visit to India on Friday, “Ambassador Upadhyaya telephoned the prime minister to tell him that unilateral cancellation of the visit may send negative message, which made the prime minister angry and the decision was taken to call him back,” the Kantipur daily claimed.
The government was not satisfied with the performance of Upadhyaya and he was accused of not playing any role to protect national interest during the crisis period or the border blockade, the Nagarik daily said.
Oli discussed the matter with Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa on Friday before taking the decision to call back the ambassador, it said.
The government cancelled Bhandari’s India visit in protest against “India’s intervention in the internal affairs of Nepal,” reported the daily.
On Wednesday, Bhandari had said the aim of her visit to India was to “to create goodwill and clear misunderstanding”.
Upadhyaya has been also been accused of involvement in trying to topple the Oli government.
On Thursday, Oli survived a threat to his government after a U-turn by Prachanda-led UCPN-Maoist which decided not to withdraw support to him “for the time being”.
Oli suddenly took the decision to cancel the president’s visit alleging that India played a role in attempting to change the government in Nepal, the Nagarik report said.
The Himalayan Times said when Upadhyaya expressed his displeasure over the cancellation of the president’s visit in a phone conversation with Oli, the premier asked him to quit if he had any policy-related differences with the government.
A cabinet meeting held on Friday did not endorse the head of state’s planned trip to India which was to begin on May 9, the daily said.
The visit to India would have been Bhandari’s first foreign trip after assuming office in October. She was also scheduled to participate in a ‘ShahiSnan’ in Ujjain’s SimhasthaKumbh on May 14.