Diplomacy Politics

Does BJP’s polarising politics weaken India’s strategic edge in Maldives?

China Dragon

The Narendra Modi government is currently experiencing a near-perfect storm of domestic and foreign policy setbacks. The ruling BJP has been drubbed in recent parliamentary bypolls in Rajasthan after an underwhelming result in Gujarat elections. The economy continues to struggle with the effects of demonetisation and GST, global fuel prices are high, the stock market is wobbly, the Union budget disappointed even BJP’s supporters and remarks by Modi that making pakodas (fritters) constituted gainful employment for citizens has become a source of mirth and anger.

The foreign affairs scene is not comforting either. China is reinforcing its military presence near Doklam, belying claims that India had “won” the standoff last year, Beijing is negotiating a military base in Afghanistan, and a Chinese company has formally signed the lease for the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka while experts say that Delhi has lost “all its leverage” in Nepal.

India now finds itself in a strategic tangle with China in the form of a crisis in the Maldives, an archipelago 400 kms away from India. Abdulla Yameen, a pro-China president of the Maldives, has imposed emergency, detained Supreme Court justices and defied their order to reinstall opposition MPs and release political prisoners. His opponent in exile, the pro-Indian former President Mohamed Nasheed has asked Delhi to “act soon, and to act firmly.” India sent paratroopers in 1988 to counter a coup and analysts are currently advising Delhi not to rule out

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Source URL: Medium

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