MP Thariq to boycott PM Modi's address at parliament

Mahimadhoo MP Ahmed Thariq (Tom) has announced that he will leave Saturday's parliament sitting before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech.

While a vote was taken at the parliament on the request of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to seek approval for the Indian PM to speak a the parliament on his upcoming visit to the Maldives, all members who took part in the vote approved the move.

PM Modi is expected to arrive in the Maldives this Saturday, and will address the parliament at 6:45pm on the same evening.

MP Thariq took to Facebook to voice his concern over the scheduled timing of Saturday's sitting as it falls between the Islamic prayer calls, Maqrib and Isha.

"The first move of those supporting secularism, the principle of separating the state from religion, is to schedule the parliament sitting between Maqrib and Isha prayers", read his post.

He further revealed that he had not participated in the vote to decide if the influential foreign diplomat should speak at the parliament. In his post, he also announced that although he plans to attend the sitting on Saturday, he would leave the sitting before Modi began his address.

"I would like to inform my constituents that I will be leaving the floor before PM Modi delivers his speech, in protest of the inhumane mistreatment against Indian Muslims", announced Thariq, referring to the recent videos that were circulated on social media that show Muslims in India being attacked and mistreated.

This is the first instance that a parliamentarian has spoken against Modi speaking at the parliament. All members who spoke on the floor during the debate stage at the parliament rallied in favor of having the politician addressing the parliament, including members from opposing PPM-PNC coalition.

According to Parliament laws, approval of the parliament must be sought before allowing a foreign diplomat to speak at the Parliament. All 80 members who took part in the vote voted in favour of Modi addressing at the Parliament.

The archipelago is currently preparing for the Indian Prime Minister's state visit to the country. PM Modi will be arriving in the Maldives on a two-day visit on June 8; his first trip abroad after his astounding victory in the Indian general elections last month securing a second term as the PM.