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Biplab Deb’s comments on BJP govt in Nepal draws Oli govt’s ire

KATHMANDU: The K P Oli-led Nepalese government has conveyed its “formal objection” to India over Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s remarks about expanding the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) influence to Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Deb made the headlines recently after he said that Union home minister Amit Shah had talked about plans to expand the BJP’s influence in the neighbouring countries.

Video footage of the event, held in Agartala, showed Deb, saying, “We were talking during a meeting at the state guest house when Ajay Jamwal (BJP’s zonal secretary for the northeast) said the BJP was in a good position as it was in power in many states. In reply, Amit Shah said Sri Lanka and Nepal are still left. We have to take the party there and win there as well.”

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Responding to a tweet from a Nepalese citizen on Deb’s controversial comments, Nepal’s foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali said on Tuesday, “Noted. Formal objection has been already conveyed.”

According to reports, Nepal’s ambassador in New Delhi, Nilamber Acharya, had spoken on phone with Arindam Bagchi, joint secretary (North) in the external affairs ministry, to convey Nepal’s reservations over the chief minister’s remarks and to seek clarification.

While addressing the event in Agartala, Deb had referred to comments purportedly made by Shah during a visit to Tripura some time ago when he was the BJP president.

The Tripura chief minister further said that BJP was working in Kerala to end the “flip-flop government” and to install a government headed by its leadership.

He also exuded confidence that the people of West Bengal would bid goodbye to TMC leader Mamata Banerjee in the upcoming elections.

Meanwhile, Congress unit vice-president, Tapas Dey, said Amit Shah’s statements amounted to “imperialism.” He added that India cannot interfere in the sovereign affairs of Nepal and Sri Lanka.

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