Amid the emerging conflict in Nepal over the newly adopted constitution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to send foreign secretary S Jaishankar to Kathmandu on Friday as his special envoy.
He is expected to convey Indian disappointment to the Nepali leadership that they did not display the required flexibility for a broad based constitution, and will urge them to accommodate concerns of the people in the Tarai region across the open border. The region has been paralysed for three weeks, and over 40 people have been killed. the FS will meet Nepal's President, Prime Minister and top leaders across the political spectrum.
The constitution is to be promulgated on Sunday.
On Wednesday, Indian ambassador to Nepal, Ranjit Rae, was in the capital for consultations. There is a rising concern in the government that while the constitution should have been a tremendous achievement for Nepal, it could well sow the seeds of a conflict and instability and radicalism in Tarai. PM Modi is also personally learnt to be worried about implications of the unrest on the upcoming Bihar polls.
After a prolonged political transition, Nepal's Constituent Assembly adopted a constitution on Wednesday. This formally institutionalised republicanism, secularism, democracy and federalism as new political principles.
But Tarai parties of the southern plains have demanded provisions for proportionate inclusion of under-represented groups in state organs, constituency delimitation on the basis of population to ensure political representation of Tarai, and revision in federal boundaries. The FS is expected to raise all three issues, ask Kathmandu's leaders to integrate it in a political settlement, even as he will tell the Tarai leadership to compromise.
PM Modi, in two visits to Nepal, emphasised the importance of taking all sections and communities together in constitution drafting. Earlier this week, in a statement, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj too emphasised the need for 'widest possible agreement', dialogue, flexibility and a constitution owned by all regions. But Tarai groups have complained that the top three parties have done little to reach out to them as they pushed through a constitution.