Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday launched a scathing attack on the Modi-led BJP government over worsening of relations with Maldives. Criticising the government, Rahul Gandhi said that the foreign policy of the country has become one about "photo ops" and "no agenda meetings".
Claiming that the Maldives was cancelling work visa of Indian nationals, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Maldives, once one of our closest allies & beneficiary of massive aid, is cancelling Indian work visas & putting up “Not Hiring Indians” signs. This happens when foreign policy becomes about photo ops & "no agenda meetings" instead of strategic intent.”
Ties between India and Maldives suffered a major setback after Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared emergency on February 5, following an order by the Supreme Court to release a group of Opposition leaders who had been convicted in widely-criticised trials.
Maldives, once one of our closest allies & beneficiary of massive aid, is cancelling Indian work visas & putting up “Not Hiring Indians” signs. This happens when foreign policy becomes about photo ops & "no agenda meetings" instead of strategic intent. https://t.co/rk1csSLTT1— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 14, 2018
While India reacted strongly against the extension of emergency by a month, the island nation declined India's invitation to participate in the eight-day mega naval exercise - Milan - from March 6-13.
According to a report in The Hindu, which was shared by Rahul Gandhi along with his tweet, since the differences over the issue emerged between the two nations, the Maldives immigration authority withdrew thousands of work permits given to Indian nationals.
The report further says that several companies in the Island nation have clearly stated that they cannot hire Indian professionals as getting a work permit for them was not possible. The report adds that the Indian embassy in the Maldives has refused to help Indians who are seeking jobs in the island nation.
The ties between India and the Maldives had started to worsen in 2015 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to cancel a visit to Male over political upheaval in the country.