Nepalis must decide on becoming Hindu state: BJP leader

Kathmandu, Dec 23 : Nepal, which embraced secularism in 2008, will only be declared a Hindu state if the people of Nepal want it and not just because the BJP thinks so, party leader Bhagat Singh Koshiyari said here Monday.

The former Uttarakhand chief minister held talks with various Nepali leaders, including President Ram Baran Yadav and Interim Election Council chairman Khil Raj Regmi in the past three days.

After a decade-long people's war waged by Maoists and upon agreement among political parties, Nepal declared itself a secular republic in 2008, after more than two-and-half centuries of monarchy.

At that time, Nepal was the only Hindu state in the world. The country is still dominated by Hindus, whose numbers stand at more than 80 percent of the population, according to the 2011 census.

After recent reports in Kathmandu that the Bharatiya Janata Party wants to see Nepal as a Hindu state, Koshiyari Monday said that Nepal cannot return to a Hindu state just because the BJP or its leaders like Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh or himself want so.

Nepal will only be declared a Hindu state if the people of Nepal want it and establish it through a vote, he said.

He made it clear that none of his leaders, Modi or party president Rajnath Singh, have ever said that they want Nepal to become a Hindu state.

"Nepal as a nation will be called a Hindu majority nation, as the majority of people are Hindus and no one can destroy the Hindu culture by the wish of someone," he said.

"We agree with the desire put forth by the Nepali people where people's regime should prevail," Koshiyari said.

He said India wants to see democracy and development in Nepal regardless of the government model, be it monarchy or British-style democracy.

"We just want to see a stable government in Nepal," Koshiyari said.

He said that once Nepal has a stable government, he will take the initiative for the construction of the Pancheshwor multipurpose project that aims to produce 3,240 MW hydropower and will help in irrigation on both sides.

The project, located in Nepal along the border with Uttarakhand, is part of the Mahakali treaty signed by Nepal and India in 1996.

--IANS (Posted on 23-12-2013)

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