The Assistant President of Nepal, Who Disapproved of New Money Notes Featuring Maps of Indian Regions, Steps Down

Ram Chandra Paudel’s economic adviser has resigned from his position in Nepal after his divisive comments over the government’s plan to print new 100-rupee notes with a map that shows three Indian territories—a move that India has previously opposed.

The Office of the President sent a press statement on Sunday stating that the President has accepted Chiranjivi Nepal’s resignation.

“As a former governor of the central bank and economist, I made the remarks. However, some news outlets misrepresented them in an effort to unnecessarily stir up controversy around the president’s respectful institution, which saddened me,” Chiranjivi Nepal said to PTI on Monday.

Territories like Kalapani, Lipulekh, and Limpiyadhura are included in the revised map.

India claims that Limpiyadhura, Kalapani, and Lipulekh are its own.

“Therefore, acknowledging my moral responsibility for the attempt by certain internet news portals to tarnish the president’s reputation due to my remarks, I submitted my resignation,” the president said.

“At a time when discussions are underway at diplomatic levels (on the map), my intention in the statement was simply to make people aware as conscious citizens that such acts could create practical problems for the country and the people,” he said.

It was resolved during a Cabinet meeting last week to issue fresh Rs 100 notes and replace the existing map with the new one.

KP Sharma Oli, the head of the CPN-UML and a former prime minister, has publicly criticized Chiranjivi Nepal for his comments.

Prior to this, a number of leaders from civil society had called for Chiranjivi Nepal to be removed because of his comments criticizing the government’s choice to issue new 100-rupee notes with a map of Nepal in accordance with the modified Constitution.

They said that in discussing the issue with national and foreign media, he had violated etiquette and gone against the interests of the country.

During the Oli administration, Nepal’s government released a new political map in May 2020 that included the regions of Lipulek, Kalapani, and Limpiyadhura inside its borders. Later, the Parliament unanimously approved of it. After then, in spite of India’s objections, the government replaced the outdated map that was used in all official papers with the updated one.

This fabricated expansion of claims is untenable and not supported by historical facts or evidence. At the time, India’s External Affairs Ministry said, “Holding talks on outstanding boundary issues is also a violation of our current understanding.”

Last week, S. Jaishankar, the minister of external affairs, voiced his displeasure with the Nepali government’s decision to release the new notes.

According to Jaishankar, it won’t alter the actual circumstances.

Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand are the five Indian states with whom Nepal has a border spanning over 1,850 kilometers.

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