Government sources on Monday told CNN-News18 that the latest offer of talks on the issue of Nepal's new map was made by India before the constitutional amendment bill went to the Nepalese parliament for passage.
"With the passage of the bill, they have pre-judged the outcome of talks," said the sources. "Nonetheless, the onus is on the Oli government to create a conducive and positive atmosphere for talks."
According to India's assessment, the release of the new political map by Nepal and obtaining a legal backing to it from the lower house of Nepalese Parliament were part of a "myopic" agenda to gain mileage in domestic politics, said the sources, rejecting Nepal's contention that India did not respond to its proposal for talks on the boundary issue.
India, they said, conveyed to Nepal multiple times its readiness to hold talks on the issue in the recent weeks including between the foreign secretaries of the two countries just before the Nepalese government brought out a Constitution amendment bill on the new map.
"When the Constitution amendment bill was being tabled and before that too, India offered a phone call and a video-conference between the foreign secretaries and visits of the foreign secretaries. However, the Nepalese side didn't respond to the offer," said a source.
The sources described the release of the map and subsequent developments as "self serving" actions that were aimed at furthering a limited political agenda.
It also wasn't clear why the Oli government did not tell the Nepalese people about India's offers for talks, they said, adding the onus is now on Oli to take positive and concrete steps to create a conducive atmosphere for dialogue.
Nepal's Parliament on Saturday unanimously voted to amend the Constitution to update the country's new political map, laying claim over the strategically key areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura along the border with India. The Ministry of External Affairs said the "artificial enlargement of claims" is untenable.
In a show of unprecedented national unity, Nepal's major opposition parties, including Nepali Congress (NC), Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N) and Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), voted in favour of the government bill to amend Schedule 3 of the Constitution to update the national emblem by incorporating the new controversial map.
Responding to Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's claims of Indians behind the spread of coronavirus in his country, the sources said, "India has cooperated in the Covid-19 situation. We have given flight clearance, repatriated Nepalese and helped with medicines. Singling out India shows the political motivation of the current establishment."
Oli has earlier blamed India for the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the hill country, saying people coming into the country from across the border without proper checks were the reason behind further spread of the virus.
(With inputs from PTI)