KATHMANDU, Oct 1: A key leader of CPN-Maoist Netra Bikram Chand claimed that his party´s move to ban the vehicles with Indian number plates and the Hindi films in Nepal wouldn´t sour relation with India but rather help cement ties with the southern neighbor.
The remarks of a newly-formed Maoist party´s secretary comes at a time when other major political parties have expressed serious concern over the party´s decision and the prime minister has already instructed security agencies to take strong action against those involved in banning vehicles with Indian number plates and films.
"The claims that relation between Nepal and India was good in the past is not true, it has always been unilateral rather than reciprocal. Our move will create an opportunity to establish a friendly and bilateral relation between two sovereign countries as against the unilateral one in the past," Chand told Republica. He claimed that the party would own the responsibility to any untoward development that might arise due to the protests.
The Maoists, last week, announced to ban Indian number plate vehicles and Hindi movies "that have undermined or are demeaning to Nepalis and Nepali culture."
Following strong objections from people and political parties, the agitating Maoists on Saturday relaxed their decision, saying they would allow vehicles carrying essential goods such as cooking gas, medicines and petroleum products.
CPN-Maoist leaders claimed that the demands were not new since current Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai had himself pushed for such demands when he had submitted a 40-point demand letter to the erstwhile Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in 1996, just before the launching of the decade-long Maoist insurgency.
"We want ban on only those Hindi movies that demean the Nepali culture and people," claimed Chand.
He claimed that their move would force the two sides and all concerned authorities to work out a system to properly deal with issues related to nationality