Persisting with its displeasure over the extension of emergency in the Maldives, India said on Thursday it does not see a valid reason for the Maldivian parliament to do so and maintained that it continues to watch the situation in the island nation.
On Wednesday, India had expressed "deep dismay" over the Maldivian parliament accepting President Abdulla Yameen's recommendation to extend the state of emergency by another 30 days in a manner New Delhi dubbed as a "matter of concern".
No Chinese warship near Maldive waters, govt sources say India continues to be the dominant presence
"We do not see any valid reason for doing so. We, of course, continue to watch the situation and would continue to urge the government of Maldives to release political prisoners, release the chief justice, implement the Supreme Court order and restore the normal functions of the institutions of democracy," external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
Kumar said that India's sincere desire is to see that democracy in the Maldives is restored and the situation resumes to normal. This is also the desire of the people of Maldives, he added.
Earlier in the day, Maldives criticised India's concern over the extension of emergency saying that New Delhi has ignored "facts and ground realities with regard to the ongoing political developments in the Maldives".
Going on the offensive, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Asim called the MEA's statement "a clear distortion of facts" and asserted that India's concerns regarding the legality of the move to extend emergency were unfounded.
"The assertion by the Government of India that the extension of the State of Emergency by the People’s Majlis was unconstitutional is a clear distortion of facts, which ignore the Constitution and Laws of the Maldives," Asim said.
The declaration of emergency earlier this month in the archipelago, known for its turquoise waters and beaches, saw the nation plunging into a political crisis.
President Yameen declared emergency on February 5 after the Supreme Court ordered the release of a group of Opposition leaders, who had been convicted in widely-criticised trials. Among them, was exiled ex-president Mohamed Nasheed. The court said his trial was unconstitutional.
There has been international condemnation of the Maldivian government's moves, including the imposition of emergency.