Kathmandu: Amid India's concerns over the new Constitution, former Nepal prime minister and Maoist chief Prachanda on Tuesday said the promulgation of the new statute is a "matter of conscience and self-respect" for the Nepalese people who will not bow down before anyone's pressure.
"By promulgation of the Constitution through the Constituent Assembly we have conveyed the message to the world that Nepalese people are capable of making decisions by themselves," he said.
"We cannot bow down before anyone's pressure or persuasion. It is a matter of our conscience and self-respect. This time Nepalese people have realised their 70-year-old dream of writing their own constitution by themselves," he said.
The promulgation of the constitution was not directed towards any country and it will not go against any country, he said.
"The people of India should recognise when Nepalese people have exercised their conscience by writing the constitution," he said adding "We don't want war or conflict with anyone".
"There are media reports that India has been imposing economic blockade upon us and if it is true we are prepared to ride on bicycles rather than using motor-vehicles," he said.
Prachanda's remarks came in response to the statement issued by India's Ministry of External Affairs expressing concern over the incidents of violence in southern Nepal following the promulgation of the Constitution.
Indian freight companies and transporters have voiced complaints about the difficulties they are facing in movement within Nepal and their security concerns due to the ongoing unrest in the Terai.
There were rumours about possible shortage of petroleum products which Nepal gets from the Indian Oil Corporation and long queues were seen in all major petrol pumps in Kathmandu.
"The issues regarding indigenous groups, ethnic community, Muslims and Madhesis is our internal matter and we are capable of settling these issues," Prachanda said.
Speaking at a programme here, Prachanda underlined the need for greater unity among the people of Nepal at this moment of crisis.
There are reports about halting vehicular movement along Nepal-India border in Mahottari district with beefed up security on the Indian side in view of the violent agitation being launched in southern Nepal.