India government on Sunday moved quickly to distance itself from comments made by an Indian ruling party politician to invade the Maldives.
“India should invade Maldives if rigging of election takes place,” Subramanian Swamy, a member of the upper house of the Indian parliament, tweeted Friday with a Raajje news story about his meeting with Maldives' self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed to discuss the opposition concerns over fraud ahead of the upcoming presidential elections.
Responding to a question over Swamy's Tweet, India's external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar insisted that the Tweet was the personal view of the Indian politician.
"The opinion expressed by Dr. Swamy in his tweet is personal. It does not reflect the views of the Government of India," the official spokesperson said.
Swamy's Tweet has since been condemned by both the Maldives opposition, ruling party and top government officials.
Bilateral ties between the two countries had soured after Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdulla Gayoom in February declared state of emergency following an order by the country’s Supreme Court to release a group of opposition leaders convicted in widely criticised trials.