National Telangana

Maldives minister’s remarks on PM Modi’s Lakshadweep trip triggers row

A social media post by a Maldives minister has sparked controversy following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep.

The minister, Abdulla Mahzoom Majid, accused India of diverting attention from the Maldives by promoting the Lakshadweep as a tourist destination.

The post came after PM Modi’s viral posts about snorkeling in Lakshadweep, leading some in India to suggest it as an alternative tourist destination to the Maldives.

This has led to diplomatic tension and a trending hashtag, #BoycottMaldives, on Indian social media, with some claiming to have canceled their trips to the Maldives.

PM Narendra Modi, posted about snorkeling in Lakshadweep on X (formerly Twitter), which went viral on social media.

India-Maldives relations have been strained since President Mohamed Muizzu took office in November 2023 and pledged to remove Indian military personnel and change the country’s “India first” policy.

President Muizzu, known for his ‘Pro-China’ policy, is scheduled to visit the dragon country on Monday, the first time after coming to power in the recently held elections in Maldives.

“China and the Maldives boast time-honoured friendship. In the past 52 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the two countries have treated each other with respect and supported each other, setting a fine example of equality and mutual benefits between countries of different sizes,” said Wang Wenbin, another spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry, according to news agency PTI.

In recent years, the Maldives has experienced a shift in its foreign relations, with President Mohamed Muizzu breaking from the tradition of visiting India first.

Instead, he has prioritized visits to other countries, such as Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This change in approach reflects Maldives’ growing proximity to China, which has invested in major infrastructure projects in the island nation.

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