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"It’s not the responsibility of the government of India to propagate democracy in our neighbourhoo

Breakdown in Nepal-India dialogue unfortunate: Sinha

By Surendra Phuyal

New Delhi, April 8 - A senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Indian External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha has expressed grave concerns over the Feb. 1 royal takeover in Nepal and the subsequent breakdown of dialogue between Kathmandu and New Delhi.
“I was surprised at the royal takeover … and disappointed at the response of the government of India,” Sinha said here Thursday. “It’s not the responsibility of the government of India to propagate democracy in our neighbourhood. Since 1947 our avowed policy has been to do business with whichever government is in power.”

Criticizing the Congress-led government’s recent reactions to the developments in Nepal, Sinha cautioned his government: “Our policy has been to scrupulously avoid interference in the internal affairs of Nepal.”

On breakdown of the dialogue between Delhi’s envoy Shivshankar Mukherjee and the royal palace, he said: “The breakdown … is very unfortunate now. It happened only once in our history.”

On Delhi’s recent stand that constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy are the twin pillars of Nepal’s democracy, he remarked: “If we believe in the ‘twin pillars,’ let’s do so, but let the people of Nepal decide what they want. Nobody in India has the authority to say that.”

Expressing grave concerns that the twin pillars are now “falling apart,” Sinha said: “Nepal is faced with a very difficult situation now. So it needs support from all countries. Don’t treat this as a business as usual situation. … Some of the actions of our government are not appropriate.”

He also criticized attempts to “extinguish democracy” and the failure of political parties to get their act together. Yet he said, “The answer to threats to democracy in more democracy. …This is not the way to do it, don’t negate democracy.”

This is the first time that a senior Indian opposition leader of Sinha’s stature has spoken out critically on the evolving situation in Nepal post-Feb. 1.

KOL Special

Re: "It’s not the responsibility of the government of India to propagate democracy in our neighbou

I wish there were more Indian politicians and beaurocrates of Mr Sinha's intetellect. Indeed, it is rare in India.
Many Indian politicians think and act like 1700 hundred's English politicians and beaurocrates at home and abroad with no comparable political and economic clout of that English of 1700.