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SOURCE: PTI

The economic advisor to Nepal’s President Ram Chandra Paudel has resigned after his controversial remarks on the government’s decision to issue new hundred-rupee notes with a map that includes three Indian territories, a move already rejected by India.

The President approved Chiranjivi Nepal’s resignation on Sunday, according to a press release issued by the Office of the President. “I made the remarks as an economist and a former governor of the central bank but some news media have twisted it in an attempt to unnecessarily drag the respectful institution of the president into controversy, which made me feel sad,” Chiranjivi Nepal told PTI on Monday.

The new map includes territories such as Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura.

India maintains Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura belong to it.

“I, therefore, tendered my resignation taking the moral obligation of the attempt made by some online news portals which have tried to drag the president into controversy based on my statement,” he said.

“My intention in the statement was just to make people aware as a conscious citizen that such acts could create practical problems to the country and the people at a time when discussions are underway at diplomatic levels (on the map),” he clarified.

A Cabinet meeting last week decided to replace the old map with the new one while printing new notes of Rs 100.

CPN-UML chairman and former Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had publicly criticised Chiranjivi Nepal for his remarks.

Earlier, a group of civil society leaders had demanded the removal of Chiranjivi Nepal over his remarks against the government’s decision to print new hundred-rupee notes with the map of Nepal as per the amended Constitution.

They argued that he had gone against national interest and breached decorum while speaking to the national and international media on the matter.

Nepal’s government unveiled its new political map with the inclusion of Lipulek, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura areas within its territory in May 2020 during the government led by Oli. It was later endorsed by the Parliament unanimously. After that, the government replaced the old map used in all the official documents with the new map despite India’s objection.

“This artificial enlargement of claims is not based on historical fact or evidence and is not tenable. It is also violative of our current understanding to hold talks on outstanding boundary issues,” India’s External Affairs Ministry said at that time.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar last week expressed discontent over the Nepal government’s decision to issue the new notes.

Jaishankar said that it is not going to change the situation on the ground.

Nepal shares a border of over 1,850 km with five Indian states – Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.