Repeating his "invade the Maldives" remark, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday said that in order to protect Indians in that country, "invasion is necessary" if upcoming Presidential elections in the island nation was rigged. However, Swamy clarified that these were his personal views and not of the government.
Swamy had triggered a political furore following his statement made earlier saying India should invade the Maldives if the election was rigged.
Speaking to ANI, the BJP leader said: "Indian citizens in the Maldives cannot be ill-treated. All kinds of ugly notices have been put up there, and if on top of that they rig the elections, it is my opinion that India has the responsibility to protect the Indian citizens, for which an invasion is necessary."
On August 22, Swamy took to his Twitter and raised the issue of alleged "gross" rigging in the upcoming Presidential elections in Maldives.
"In Colombo today I had a chance meet with Fmr Maldive President Naseed. He is apprehensive of gross rigging in their forthcoming election. India cannot allow that as a neighbour and also since current usurper President Yamin has humiliated Indians recently. We need an action plan," he had tweeted. "India should invade the Maldives if rigging of election takes place," he added.
Following a huge backlash over Swamy's statement, the Ministry of External Affair issued a clarification on August 26, saying, "opinion expressed by Swamy in his tweet was personal and does not reflect the view of government". (ANI)