The Bangladesh government has asked New Delhi to issue a clarification about the mural of the Indian subcontinent in the new Parliament building, The Hindu reported on Tuesday.

Dhaka’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam on Monday said that his government has asked its mission in Delhi to seek an official explanation on the matter.

In a tweet last month, Union Minister Prahlad Joshi had described the mural as a depiction of “Akhand Bharat”, or unified India.

“Akhand Bharat” is a concept espoused by Hindutva nationalists envisaging that neighbouring countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka would become part of India.

India’s foreign ministry has said that the mural depicts the spread of the Ashokan empire and the idea of responsible and people-oriented governance that he adopted and propagated. “That is what the mural and the plaque in front of the mural says,” Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said.

Last week, several political leaders in Nepal, including the country’s prime minister had objected to the mural as it shows Lumbini – the birthplace of the founder of Buddhism Gautama Buddha – as part of it. Nepal considers Lumbini as one of the major cultural centres on its map. The foreign ministry of Pakistan has also objected to the mural.

On Monday, Bangladeshi minister Alam took cognisance of Bagchi’s clarification, saying that the mural depicts the journey of people. “There may be cultural similarities, but it has nothing to do with politics,” he had said.

In Bangladesh, resentment has been simmering over the mural since last week as several political parties – besides the ruling Awami League – had criticised their country being included in the mural, according to the newspaper Prothom Alo.

Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal, an ally of the ruling Awami League, said that there was no such thing as “Akhand Bharat” in the political map of India after 1947. “The display of a map of undivided India in India’s parliament building is unwarranted,” the party’s president Hasanul Huq Inu told Prothom Alo.

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the secretary-general of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, said that displaying Bangladesh as part of the undivided map of any other nation was a threat to his country’s independence and sovereignty.

The Rastra Sangskar Andolan said in a statement said: “It is objectionable for Bangladesh to be included as part of Akhand Bharat in the imagined map of the Indian rulers.”