India MP defends call to invade Maldives over 'Islamic terrorist' threat

An Indian ruling party politician has defended his calls to invade the Maldives saying that the archipelago may become an "Islamic terrorist" if the upcoming presidential elections is rigged.

Subramanian Swamy, a member of the upper house of the Indian parliament had come under intense criticism over his Tweet on Friday saying “India should invade Maldives if rigging of election takes place,” after his meeting with Maldives' self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed to discuss the opposition concerns over fraud ahead of the upcoming presidential elections.

A day after the India government moved to distance itself from Swamy's comments, he responded to a question on Twitter by pointing out that India had "invaded" the Maldives when Sri Lankan Tamil Terrorist group PLOTE led a failed coup in Maldives in 1988.

"... India restored Maldivian Rule. Today Indian citizens working in Maldives are being asked to leave. If election is rigged then Maldives may become Islamic terrorist," Swamy said.

Swamy's Tweet on Friday had 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.