Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s husband Swaraj Kaushal responded to Manisha Koirala in a series of cutting tweets after her favourable reaction to Nepal’s new political map amid its border dispute with India. Nepal released its new map including Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as part of its territory on Wednesday.

Manisha was censured on Twitter after she tweeted in support of Nepal amid its border dispute with India over the aforementioned regions and also brought in China. She responded to Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali after he tweeted about the inclusion of the disputed regions in their map.

“Thank you for keeping the dignity of our small nation..we all are looking forward for a peaceful and respectful dialogue between all three great nations now,” Manisha tweeted with reference to India, Nepal and China.

Born in Kathmandu, Manisha is Nepalese politician Prakash Koirala’s daughter. Her grandfather Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala was the Prime Minister of Nepal from 1959 to 1960.

See her tweet:

After Manisha’s tweet, Governor Swaraj, a renowned lawyer, told Manisha a story about the “difficult situations” that he has “seen together” with her family. He reminded Manisha about the premiere of her 1994 film 1942: A Love story and said that he did not “stay for the film” while Sushma Swaraj and their daughter Bansuri did. The film, directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, was set in the backdrop of the decline of the British Raj in India.

“I can’t argue with you my child @mkoirala. I have always treated you as my daughter. When you invited us for the premiere of 1942: A Love story, I did not stay for the film. Yes, @sushmaswaraj watched the film and you had Bansuri in your lap. That’s just 27 years back. In 1977 and onwards, you were in South Extension attending APJ School in Saket. Your father Prakash Koirala is like my brother and your mother Sushma Koirala has been a sister in law and a friend. We have seen difficult situations together,” Governor Swaraj tweeted.

Elaborating on the “glorious traditions” of Manisha’s family, Governor Swaraj added that he is also aware of her “family struggle”.

“I was with your grandfather BP Koirala the day AIIMS diagnosed his cancer. I remember BP telling me “this is an advanced stage of cancer and I have just six months to live.” I was upset. But there was no sign of despair on his face. I know the glorious traditions of your family. Your grandfather BP Koirala, his brother also named BP Koirala, and then youngest brother GP Koirala – all three brothers became Prime Ministers of Nepal. Your aunt and my friend Shailaja Acharya was Dy Prime Minister of Nepal,” he said.

“I also know how much did your family struggle. Your grandfather BP was in jail for 18 years. His life was spared because Nepal being a Hindu state would not hang a Brahmin. At the age of 26, your aunt Shailaja (BP’s sister’s daughter) had suffered eight years in jail,” he added.

Furthermore, Governor Swaraj said, “Now this is for Prakash Koirala. Who was with Nepali Congress in their struggle. I think all of us. JP, Lohia, Chandrashekharji, George Fernandes. Of them, Chandrashekharji did the most. In 1973, I was also in Nepal for many weeks and reached the inner bailey of the palace. We were with you in your struggle for democracy. There was nothing for India or Indians. Once you settled with the King, there was nothing that we wanted. When we learnt of your views as an MP, we were upset. But we thought these were compulsions of Nepali politics.”

The lawyer also discussed China’s border with India in his tweet, and added, “Indians should know that there was a conspiracy to end the only Hindu state in the world. They collaborated with Maoists. They hosted Prachand and Babu Ram Battarai in safe houses here. They destroyed the only Hindu state. Their mission was complete. The result was that communists are using China against India. Or China is using communists against India. The result is that traditionally China’s border with India was up to the Himalayas. Now China’s border with India is at Birgunj.”

With respect to Manisha’s reference to China in her tweet, Governor Swaraj added, “India may have grievances with Nepal or Nepal may have serious issues with India. That’s between India and Nepal. How do you bring in China ? That’s bad for us. And that’s not good for Nepal either. When you bring in China, you are destroying thousands of years old bonds with us. You are destroying our common heritage. Most importantly, you are reducing your own position as a sovereign country as well.”

See Governor Swaraj’s series of tweets here:

Nepal’s decision of including Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura in its map has been rejected by India. The map was released even though Pradeep Kumar Gyawali had said that efforts were being made to resolve the border dispute with India through diplomatic initiatives.

Last week, Gyawali summoned the Indian Ambassador Vinay Mohan Kwatra and handed over a diplomatic note to him to protest against the construction of a key road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand. India asserted that the road in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district lies completely within its territory.

Kalapani is also a disputed border area between Nepal and India. India as well as Nepal claim that Kalapani is an integral part of their territory – India as part of Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district and Nepal as part of Dharchula district.

The two countries engaged in a row after India issued a new political map including Kalapani and Lipulekh on its side of the border in October 2019.

(With inputs from PTI)

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