India giving vehicles to Nepal for elections

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 18, 2013 16:10 hrs

New Delhi, Sep 18 (IANS) India, which has affirmed its support for the "successful conduct of free and fair" elections to Nepal's constituent assembly Nov 19, is providing the Himalayan country vehicles to help in the poll process, said an official Wednesday.

India is providing vehicles for the Election Commission of Nepal and has also committed to providing more vehicles for the security services during the constituent assembly elections there, said external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin here.

"An essential ingredient of the election process is to ensure a safe and fruitful environment for voters. The Nepalese government has requested us to provide vehicles which we are in the process of providing," he said, adding that more vehicles were to be provided to the Nepalese government in October.

Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh was in Kathmandu over the weekend during which she called on the top Nepalese leadership and conveyed India's commitment to working for a democratic, stable and peaceful Nepal.

In Kathmandu, she reiterated the Indian government's commitment to providing the logistic support sought by the government of Nepal "well in time for the elections".

Sujatha Singh held high-level talks with Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav and interim government chief Khil Raj Regmi during which the constituent assembly polls were discussed.

The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist has been demanding that the elections be postponed to April next year. It has announced a boycott to thwart the elections.

India is keen that Nepal's constituent assembly-cum-parliament elections are held on time and believes they are essential to consolidate the democratic gains made by its people and institutionalise a strong multi-party democracy.

An interim government led by Chief Justice Regmi took over the country's reins March 14 to oversee constituent assembly polls.

Nepal has been without a parliament for nearly a year. The election would be held to choose an assembly to complete the drafting of Nepal's first constitution after the abolition of the 239-year-old monarchy in 2008. Nepal was the world's only Hindu kingdom.

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