The government today distanced itself from BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s remarks that India should “invade” the Maldives if the upcoming presidential election in the island nation was rigged.
Two days after a meeting with exiled former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed in Colombo, Swamy had tweeted on Friday that “India should invade Maldives if rigging of election takes place.”
Responding to a query on the BJP parliamentarian’s comments, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “The opinion expressed by Dr Swamy in his tweet is personal. It does not reflect the views of the Government of India.”
Swamy met Nasheed in Colombo on Tuesday during which the Maldivian leader apprised him about the political situation in his country and expressed concerns that the September 23 presidential election may be rigged by incumbent President Abdullah Yameen.
“We discussed the current political situation in the Maldives, upcoming presidential elections and our concerns on how President Yameen intends to rig Sept 23rd election,” Nasheed had tweeted after the meeting.
On Tuesday, Swamy tweeted that Nasheed was apprehensive of “gross rigging” in the elections and that India cannot allow that to happen as a neighbour.
“We need an action plan,” Swamy said, adding the “current usurper” President Yameen has “humiliated Indians”.
In June, the national electoral commission of the Maldives had said Nasheed was disqualified from running the presidential election.
Ties between India and the Maldives nosedived after Maldivian President Yameen declared emergency on February 5 following an order by the country’s Supreme Court to release a group of Opposition leaders, who had been convicted in widely criticised trials.
The emergency was lifted 45 days later.
Last month, India expressed concern over announcement of elections in the Maldives without allowing democratic institutions, including Parliament and the judiciary, to work in a free and transparent manner.
India had said it wanted “credible restoration” of the political process and the rule of law in the island nation before the elections are conducted.