Amid the ongoing diplomatic tussle between New Delhi and Kathmandu, Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli on Monday made a stunning claim, in which he argued that Lord Ram's birth place was in Nepal and not in India. According to Nepali media reports, Oli further claimed that 'real' Ayodhya was in his country.
“We have been oppressed a bit culturally,” Oli said, while speaking at a programme on the occasion of Bhanu Jayanti at the PM's residence. He said India had taken a cultural encroachment by creating a “fake Ayodhya”.
“Ayodhya is a village a little west to Birgunj, not the Ayodhya created now,” he said.
The India-Nepal bilateral ties have come under strain after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a 80-km-long strategically crucial road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on May 8.
Nepal reacted sharply to the inauguration of the road claiming that it passed through Nepalese territory. India rejected the claim asserting that the road lies completely within its territory.
Later, Nepal updated the country's political map through a Constitutional amendment, incorporating three strategically important Indian areas. India, however, termed as "untenable" the "artificial enlargement" of the territorial claims by Nepal.
Oli, under pressure to resign amidst a rift in the ruling Nepal Communist Party over his style of functioning, had alleged that some of the ruling party leaders are aligning with India to remove him from power after his government issued a new political map incorporating three Indian territories.
His allegations have been criticised by senior NCP leaders, including former prime minister 'Prachanda', who demanded Prime Minister Oli's resignation, saying his recent anti-India remarks were "neither politically correct nor diplomatically appropriate."
On Thursday last, cable television operators stopped the transmission of all Indian private news channels except Doordarshan, accusing them of airing reports hurting Nepal's national sentiment. However, the ban was partially lifted on Monday.