ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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ANDHRA-The New Camaraderie

Radhikapur agreed to in January 1965 between Manubhai Shah, then Indian Minister for Commerce, and his Nepal- ese counterpart Vedanand Jha. That was the time when India, under Shas- tri, was about to commit itself to providing another outlet for Nepal at the western-most point of that country to give it access to Western Pakistan. India had agreed only verbally, and nothing was committed on paper. In fact, according to the Barcelona pact on land-locked countries, India is required to provide only one outlet to Nepal. This was, therefore, a special concession made by Indian negotiators who were keen to wean Nepal away from the eager Chinese. By itself, the transit facility through Radhikapur is of little economic significance to Nepal. The only items Nepal can export to East Pakistan are boulders and timber for railway use. In view of Pak- RECENT statements in Hyderabad by N Sanjeeva Reddy of Congress(O) and N G Ranga of Swatantra are evidence of these two parties' renewed efforts to wean away support from Congress(R). In an attempt at consolidation of his own and Congress(O)'s political base, Sanjeeva Reddy has moved "bag and baggage" from New Delhi to his village in Anantapur district. His Hyderabad statement coupled bitter attack against Prime Minister Indira Gandhi with an even more bitter attack on State Government ministers. The latter were accused of collecting funds for Congress(R) % putting pressure on farmers and others and, more specifically, of collecting Rs 5 to Rs 10 per bag of rice smuggled out of the State. In this way, Sanjeeva Reddy said, about Rs 35 lakhs had already been collected by Congress(R). Purchase of rice, for export to other States or to other food zones and for building up buffer stocks within the State, is the responsibility of the Food Corporation. In his new evangelical role, Sanjeeva Reddy announced his intention to stay on in Andhra Pradesh in order to expose the corrupt practices of the ministers and Congress(R), Ranga, the Swatantra leader, joined rum in the attack. Indira Gandhi's leanings towards CPI have given new ammunition to the Swatantra guns. But What Was more significant in the observations made by Ranga was the clear istan's refusal to allow transit to Indian exports to Afghanistan, India is unlikely to allow transit to Pak goods, destined for Nepal via Radhikapur. In the circumstances, one-sided trade can have little meaning for Nepal. The Indian side maintains that it was Nepal's stiff attitude on the Radhikapur issue that came as a shock to New Delhi. Nepal's insistence on the transit route through Radhikapur was, New Delhi thinks, a politically-motivated intransigence rather than an economically reasoned stand. If Nepal continues to make this issue the crux of all negotiations, it cannot but cast a shadow on both the economic as well as the political relations between the two countries. The Himalayas may not stand between India and Nepal, but after what has occurred within a couple of weeks, there appears to be a wide gulf between the two countries which will need some careful sailing.

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