After sharp reactions from India to Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s claim that the birthplace of Lord Ram was in Nepal, Kathmandu has clarified that his remarks were "not linked to any political subject and have no intention at all to hurt anyone’s feelings or sentiments.”
— NB Nair (@nbnair) July 14, 2020
India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) condemned the remarks, saying they were an attempt to cause controversy over the birthplace of Lord Ram.
“Lord Ram is a matter of faith for us, and people will not allow anybody, be it the prime minister of Nepal or anyone, to play with this,” said the BJP’s national spokesperson Bizay Sonkar Shastri.
Several religious leaders in Ayodhya have also described the statement as “unfortunate and mischievous.” They demanded that “Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take up the issue and stop this kind of misinformation being spread all around by vested interests.”
“The remarks were not meant to debase the significance of Ayodhya and the cultural values it bears,” said the statement by Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Oli’s remarks were seen as another attempt to irritate India after the diplomatic faceoff between the two nations last year following Nepal changing a map of the country to include territory claimed by India and then amending the citizenship act mandating a seven-year probationary period for a foreign woman married to a Nepali national.
The amendment to the citizenship act was seen as an attempt to provoke India as cross-border marriage is common between citizens of both countries.