India-Nepal border likely to be sealed before polls

Last Updated: Friday, November 8, 2013 - 21:24

Kathmandu/New Delhi: Nepal and India have heightened vigil and enhanced coordination to curb illegal activities along their border, which is likely to be sealed for three to four days ahead of the crucial November 19 Constituent Assembly polls.

With open borders, India`s best bet would be a smooth election process in Nepal to avert any spillover of the instability caused by the ongoing political turmoil and transition there.

India has provided logistic support to Nepal, including 900 vehicles, to ferry officials of security agencies and the Election Commission.

It is also understood that in view of the upcoming polls, there is heightened vigil and close coordination between the two countries to curb any illegal cross-border activities. The frontier is expected to be sealed for three to four days ahead of the election.

For once, it seems both India and China, which has increased its engagement significantly in key areas of social development and political process, are on the same page as far as the polls in Nepal are concerned.

There is a view in New Delhi that China feels it is important to have a smooth political process in Nepal as any instability could impact Tibet.

New Delhi also does not feel that India is a major poll issue in the election despite attempts by the the CPN-Maoist, the breakaway faction of the UCPN-Maoist, to do so.

As campaigning peaks in Nepal, all major political parties, including the Nepali Congress, have claimed they will win the Constituent Assembly polls. India hopes that the polls will be free and fair.

Nepali Congress "will either win a simple majority or emerge as the largest party in the Constituent Assembly elections", party general secretary Prakash Man Singh, contesting polls from a constituency in Kathmandu, said while talking to Indian journalists at his residence.

"It is necessary for the people to give clear victory to a democratic party for drafting a fully democratic constitution," he said.

"Nepali Congress stands for democracy, nationalism and religious freedom since its inception," Singh said. He cautioned people against backing parties that are making religion a part of the agenda to woo voters.

Though he did not name anyone, Singh was apparently pointing towards the Kamal Thapa-led pro-monarchist Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal, which is campaigning for reinstating Nepal as a Hindu state and restoring constitutional monarchy.

PTI

First Published: Friday, November 8, 2013 - 21:24

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