No compromise on sovereignty for fuel: Nepal Deputy PM

Kathmandu: Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister today said the government would maintain national “dignity and sovereignty” even as the country faces an acute fuel shortage amid the continuing political crisis following the promulgation of the new Constitution.

“No compromise would be made on the issue of nationality, national sovereignty and the dignity of the people though the people were facing acute shortage of fuel and essential goods due to the border blockade,” said Deputy Premier Chitra Bahadur KC who is also Minister for Poverty Alleviation.

“Nepalese people would not barter nationality with fuel and goods though the daily life was hit hard for long due to the border blockade,” he said.

India today said Nepal’s “internal factors” were responsible for the blockade on the border and the only way to solve the impasse is through dialogue, a day after the Nepalese cabinet formally requested New Delhi to ease supply of essential goods including fuel and medicines.

Minister for Forests and Soil Conservation Agni Sapkota termed as “illegitimate” demands that would “disintegrate” the country put forth by agitating Madhesi leaders as he alleged they caused repeated failure of talks with the government.

Sapkota however said the government was ready to address the genuine demands of the disgruntled Madhes-centric parties.

He said that the government was working to resume the two border points with China in view of the trade embargo that he alleged was imposed by India on Nepal.

Meanwhile, leader of main opposition Nepali Congress, Krishna Prasad Sitaula said there will be no immediate changes in the seven-state federal model of the new Constitution.

“The re-demarcation of the boundary was the main demand of the agitating Madhesi parties. There will be no changes in the current seven-state model anytime soon,” he said.

The disputed Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari districts of eastern Nepal will also remain in their respective federal states, he said.

“We still don’t know the exact demands of the agitating Madhesi Front. They have started attending the parliament meeting. We will know about it only after they inform their demands to the parliament,” he said.

Sitaula also urged the Indian government to ease the trade blockade though he clarified that India had not put any kind of pressure to amend any provisions of the Constitution.