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Nepal hell bent upon playing the China card, India should let it do so!
In Nepal, after decisive win of Prachanda-led Communist party of Nepal, and KP Sharma Oli-led Communist party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist) coalition and defeat of pro India Nepali Congress, has finally started the ascendency of China over India.

However, Oli, the new PM of Nepal, the way he is in a hurry to make Nepal sit on the Chinese lap is definitely worrisome for India. However, instead of Nepal make India compete with China, India should give it a long rope. Let Oli understand the price he will have to pay.

Recently this new PM Oli of Nepal made a tour of Nepal-China international boundary and to improve better communications with China, declared that the only route connecting China with Nepal, Rasuvagadhi-Kerung will be developed to the international standards to facilitate trade and communications with China.

Surely this is a slap on India's face which had been catering to all the needs of Nepal since ages. When Nepal was hit with the worst earthquake in 2015, India was the first country to rush aid to Nepal.

India's loss of face and influence in Nepal ,the cause have been the Nepali Madhesi population who are basically of Indian origin from Bihar and UP and now settled in Nepali plains, adjacent to Indian borders. These people are pro India and are not in good books of Nepali hill people who consider themselves superior.

During the Constitution making process of Nepal that lasted almost two decades, the hill people of Nepal have tried their best to subvert the rights of these Madhesis. As a result the plains' people the Madheshies had placed a blockade on all supplies going to Nepal from India. The hill people are blaming India for this blockade.

 Flush with cash, China has given to Nepal a loan of 8.3 billion dollars for construction of roads and hydel projects. India also has given a loan of 31.5 crore dollars loan to Nepal.

China under its ambitious OBOR project is planning to give a loan of 8 billion dollars to Nepal to connect Nepal's capital Kathmandu with Tibet's capital Lahasa by rail.

After arrival of the Oli government on the scene, China's activities in Nepal have increased manifold. Despite India's opposition to OBOR of China, Nepal is all out to appease China. Most probably China's president Xi Jinping will visit Nepal in March 2018.

If Nepal is hell bent on increasing its nearness with China, India can do little about it. Let Nepalese do what they feel like. Nepal is a buffer country between India and China. The main advantage to us was that China was not is a position to accesses the hill region of Nepal so crucial to us strategically. Now this very hill region and its people are running towards China, so be it.

We can do very little. However, what we can do is to ensure the plains' people, the Madhesis are with us. Let us look after them and nurture them till the Hill people of Nepal realise that when they tango with China they will have to pay a heavy price.

Currently, a large number of Tibetans, fed up with Chinese oppression in Tibet, are residing in Nepal. By enhancing their influence in the hill region of Nepal, China wants these Tibetans to be put in their place. India should not hesitate in accommodating these Tibetans. India should be confident that all this Marxism-Leninism and communism will be a short lived phenomenon in Nepal.

India has historical, cultural and geographical togetherness with Nepal from centuries. A few Olis & Prachandas will not be able to upset it. Almost all of Nepal PMs have played China card sometime or the other so Prachanda and Oli are not exceptions.

It is time now we do not get perturbed by Nepali shenanigans any more. We must also tell Nepal in oblique manner that it takes two to tango. Nepal cannot have open borders and no visa regime with India, sitting in China lap. 

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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