KATHMANDU, March 4: Indian leaders attending the opening ceremony of the Nepali Congress General Convention have expressed regrets over the suffering the Nepali people had to undergo because of the six months-long blockade imposed by India.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the general convention at Tundikhel Khullamanch Thursday, Jogendra Sharma of the Communist Party of India (CPI) Marxist, said the Indian people are sad that the Nepali people had to put up with hardships for months because of the Indian-imposed blockade.
“The Nepali people, who were already suffering because of the earthquake, were made to suffer even more by the blockade. The Indian people and I seriously regret that,” said Sharma.
He said the blockade was imposed by the Indian government, not by the Indian people. “The Indian people are always there for the Nepali people,” he added.
“We also do not believe in the concept of big brother or small brother. No country is small or big,” he further said.
Likewise, Vijay Pratap Singh, vice-president of the Loktantrik Samajbadi Party, apologized for the inconveniences faced by the Nepali people because of the Indian blockade.
“There should have been no blockade. I am ashamed of what India did to Nepal,” he said. He further said that Nepal should be a bridge between India and China.
Nitish Kumar, chief minister of Bihar state, said that India extends its best wishes to Nepal as it has democracy now and is moving ahead toward peace and prosperity.
“I strongly believe that the Nepali leadership is capable enough to resolve its internal issues by themselves. There should be no misconception that India does not want Nepal’s welfare,” he said, adding, Nepal and India have an unbreakable relationship.
BK Hariprasad, leader of the Indian National Congress, said he believed the NC general convention would come up with a clear vision for leading the party and the country in the changed political context.
Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, vice-chairman of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, congratulated all the political parties for drafting the new constitution. “There may be something lacking in the constitution. In fact, nothing is perfect,” he said.
“Following protests in Nepal, there may be some misconceptions between Nepal and India. But I believe things will become straight soon,” he said.
He appealed to all Nepalis to take the country ahead in unity.
Information Minister of Bangladesh, Hasanul Haq Inu, stressed the fostering of trade relations between Nepal and Bangladesh.
Yos Son, chairman of Cambodia’s International Department of the Council of Ministers, and Luis Ayala, general secretary of the Socialist International, extended best wishes for the betterment of the country.