Nepal has rubbished rumours of plans to expel Indian ambassador Ranjit Rae following the cancellation of President Bidhya Devi Bhandrai’s visit to New Delhi and the recall of its envoy from New Delhi.
Rumours were in circulation in Kathmandu since Sunday that the government was preparing to declare Rae, who was said to have breached several diplomatic norms - including the Vienna Convention - persona non-grata (PNG), meaning his diplomatic immunity would be withdrawn.
The rumours gained ground after Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli cancelled Bhandari’s visit and recalled Nepal’s ambassador to India Deep Kumar Uphadhya apparently in retaliation of India’s supposed hand in toppling his government.
After some media outlets reported that a closed door meeting at Oli’s residence discussed possibility of declaring Rae PNG, this simultaneously created turmoil in New Delhi and Kathmandu prompting Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa to issue a statement on Sunday evening saying: “Some media speculation regarding Nepal government mulling expulsion of Indian ambassador Rae is baseless and is aimed at damaging Nepal-India relations.”
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