“India Out” Campaign

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The Modi-led regime faces yet another setback in the regional politics  as the “India Out” campaign in the Maldives is gaining momentum with every passing day with the protestors demanding the expulsion of the Indian military from the country, fearing the compromise of sovereignty. Thousands of people have marched on the streets of capital Malé city calling for the removal of Indian military personnel from the Maldives. The protest demonstrations intensified about a fortnight since Maldives’s ex-President Abdulla Yameen walked free, after the Supreme Court overturned his conviction in a money-laundering case. The protesters have been calling for the removal of Indian troops from the Maldives and the cancellation of military agreements with India. The soldiers in question are being stationed under various military agreements made under the current administration. The participants of the rally carried the national flags and clad in red shirts called for the immediate removal of Indian soldiers stationed in the Maldives. The protestors accused the current administration and the New Delhi friendly President Solih of colluding with India to influence the 2018 Presidential Election and the 2019 Parliamentary Election. Under Yameen’s government, the two countries signed a free trade agreement (FTA), eliminating tariffs on Maldivian exports of mostly fish, and opened the archipelago to Chinese goods and services. While India has tried to take China’s place as the Maldives main financial benefactor, it still has a long way to go. The anti-India sentiment did not  just sprout overnight last year, but is nearly a decade old and can be traced back to when Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom of the Progressive Party (PPM) became president in 2013.India-Maldives relations deteriorated during the PPM’s five-year rule and the anti-India sentiment was apparent even back then and this fresh wave of India Out Campaign rang alarm bells for the coercive Modi regime that is known for interventionist policy agendas.

 

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