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How India Should Manage 'India Out' Campaign in Maldives?

Jumhoory Party (JP) joined government coalition partner Adhaalath Party (AP) in condemning the ‘India Out’ campaign headed by former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom to protest against Indian military presence in Maldives as per Sun Online.

A JP Statement indicated that as Parliament has not approved any part of Maldives to be given for military purposes of a foreign country, it found the opposition’s allegations on Indian military presence in Maldives lacked any legal basis as per Sun Online. “Describing the activities on unarmed foreign military personnel as a military activity is something opposition parties often do for political purposes. There’s therefore ample ground to believe the campaign under the slogan ‘India Military Out’ is undertaken by the opposition in order to fulfil a specific political objective,” said JP.

India Out campaign in Maldives is supported by only, one party that is the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the former President Abdullah Yameen.

Yameen Abdul Gayoom released in November launched an 'India Out' campaign touring atolls.

This is vitriolic with Gayoom claiming, "If they [India] are here to protect interests, then the government should be able to reveal what's in the agreements," and Maldivian people wanted Indian military personnel out of their country. "There isn't anyone who believes there isn't Indian military presence in Maldives. The government has expressed concern over anti-India propaganda on grounds of the impact of spreading hatred and false allegations and the safety and security of citizens in Maldives and Maldivians living abroad.

Gayoom has called for a public opinion poll to identify views regarding the stationing of Indian military personnel in the Maldives will this be held in 2022 remains to be seen.

The MDP though inclined towards India has maintained a reasonable balance indicating that it will uphold the 'One-China' policy in a recent interaction in December

between the Ambassador of China to the Maldives Wang Lixin and Vice President Faisal Naseem.

How India Should Manage India Out Campaign in Maldives?

Isolating the PPM and former President Gayoom, taking heed of the deeply nationalist sentiment in Maldives and attempts by external forces mainly China and Pakistan to Indian presence in the atoll nation is a three pronged strategy political, perception management and diplomacy - that India will have to adopt to manage the India Out campaign in a crucial Indian Ocean atoll nation.

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