Nepali leader accuses India of blocking vital supplies

KATHMANDU – A Nepali lawmaker tipped to be the next prime minister, on Wednesday accused neighbouring India of deliberately blocking vital supplies into the landlocked country as the government announced fresh fuel restrictions.

Chief of the ruling UML Party, K.P. Oli said that the Indian government, rather than protesters on the border, was responsible for the blockade, in an unofficial protest against Nepal’s adoption of the constitution on September 20. Scores of Indian trucks have been stranded at a key border check post for almost a week, halting fuel and other supplies, following protests by ethnic minorities over the Himalayan nation’s new constitution.

“India is saying those people (protesters) are in no man’s land, they are blocking the roads so (Indian trucks) are not being able to supply, that’s not true,” Oli said in an interview

Public anger is mounting over New Delhi’s perceived meddling in Nepal’s internal affairs. India, which has criticised Kathmandu’s handling of the constitution, has denied being behind the blockade.

Nepal, which imports all its fuel from India, announced a three-day ban on buying fuel for private vehicles from Thursday, as the country faces a looming shortage and consumers keep up long queues at petrol stations. Nepal began rationing supplies nationwide on Monday, while drivers have only been allowed on the roads on alternate days since Sunday.

 

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