Opposition Nepali Congress on Wednesday strongly condemned Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's controversial statements on Ayodhya and said that he has "lost the moral and political basis" to rule the country.
The party also sought the official stand of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (NCP) and the government on the Prime Minister's remarks that Ayodhya lies in Birgunj and Ram was born in Nepal.
In a statement, Nepali Congress spokesperson Bishwo Prakash Sharma said his party "strongly disagrees with the Prime Minister's recent statements and behavior". He said Prime Minister Oli has "lost the moral and political basis to govern" the country.
"Whether the Prime Minister's statement is the official view of the government or not, it should be made clear," he said. "It is unfortunate that during such grim times, the Prime Minister's responsibilities stand at one corner while his actions stand at the other," he said.
"It is upto the ruling CPN to decide whether to entirely change the Prime Minister's thinking, working style, expression, and action or to change the Prime Minister himself," Sharma said. Oli is already facing strong opposition from his own party leaders who are pressing for his resignation over his autocratic style of functioning and previous anti-India statement.
"Prime Minister Oli has forgotten the practices, Constitution and sensitivity and running the government on his personal whim," Sharma said in the statement.
Nepali Congress youth leader and Parliament Member from Kathmandu Gagan Thapa has said that Prime Minister Oli made the statement deliberately to save his chair at a time when internal feud was going on within the ruling party. "It's a deliberate attempt to save his chair by the means of political stunt," he tweeted.
Meanwhile, a group of Hindu youths and Sadhus staged an anti-government rally in Janakpur, the birthplace of Sita, protesting against Oli's remarks. They shouted anti-Oli slogans and asked the Prime Minister to withdraw his statement.
Oli's statement has hurt the sentiment of crores of Hindus around the world, said Mithilesh Jha, chairman of Hindu Parishad Nepal. Similarly, Ramnandiya Vaishnavi Sangh also opposed Oli's remarks. The Prime Minister's statement has hurt the age-old relationship between Nepal and India, the organization said.
Several top Nepalese political leaders from different parties have slammed Oli for making "senseless and irrelevant" remarks and asked him to withdraw his controversial statement. In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday clarified that the remarks made by Prime Minister Oli "are not linked to any political subject and have no intention at all to hurt the feelings and sentiments of anyone."
It further stressed that his remarks "were not meant to debase the significance of Ayodhya and the cultural value it bears."
"As there have been several myths and references about Shri Ram and the places associated with him, the Prime Minister was simply highlighting the importance of further studies and research of the vast cultural geography the Ramayana represents to obtain facts about Shri Ram, Ramayana and the various places linked to this rich civilization," the ministry said.
Nepal's former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai has said, "PM Oli's statements have crossed the limit. Extremism only creates trouble."
In his sarcastic remark, Bhattarai said, "Now let's hope to hear the new Ramayan of Kaliyug from PM Oli." Senior leader of the ruling NCP Bam Dev Gautam said that Prime Minister Oli should withdraw his controversial remarks on Ayodhya. "Such senseless and irrelevant remarks made by a person of high position will damage the country's prestige," said Bishnu Rijal, deputy chief of the Publicity Committee of the ruling party.