Justice Markandey Katju on Tuesday termed India’s treatment of Nepal “disgraceful,” and said the crippling blockade on the border is “directly connected” with the Bihar assembly elections.
In a blogpost, the outspoken former Supreme Court judge said the blockade of freight trucks into Nepal “can easily be ended within a few hours by taking strong action against the blockaders, but then what would happen to the Madheshi votes in Bihar?”
In his opinion, after the Bihar election results on November 8, “the Indian Government will probably take action and end the blockade”.
His comments come a day after an Indian was killed in police firing on Madhesi protesters in Nepal’s Birgunj. India has voiced concern over the developments and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also spoken to his Nepalese counterpart KP Oli.
Katju writes: “It is disgraceful how India is treating Nepal, a small, landlocked country, dependant heavily on imports from India. Our government has stupidly imposed an undeclared blockade for about two months on supplies of fuel and other goods to Nepal, causing great hardship to the Nepalese people.
Some Nepalese people have sent me messages on Facebook requesting me to post something on this critical situation.
The official Indian Government stand is that the Madheshis are blockading... supplies to Nepal because of their alleged underrepresentation in the proposed Nepalese Parliament. and India can do nothing about it.
However my own opinion is that the matter is directly connected with the ongoing Bihar elections, which is regarded as a life or death struggle by the BJP. Many Madheshis live in Bihar ( as well as in Nepal ), and so their votes are regarded crucial by the BJP.
The blockade can easily be ended within a few hours by taking strong action against the
blockaders, but then what would happen to the Madheshi votes in Bihar ?
So after the results of the Bihar elections are declared on 8th November the Indian Government will probably take action and end the blockade.
And how does it matter to the BJP if the people of Nepal suffered for two months? All that matters to these politicians is getting votes by any means.”