Maldives: Modi's Lakshadweep Visit, 'Mr Sinha's' X Post & China Love | What Almost Cost Prez Muizzu His Job

As Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu stands on the verge of losing his job amid an impeachment motion moved by the Opposition, take a look at the recent events that brought him here

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu Photo: X@presidencymv

Little would have Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu anticipated ever that a trip by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to an island in India would cost him his job.

The Maldivian President faces impeachment now, weeks after his members of his government sparked a diplomatic row with India by commenting on PM Modi's Lakshadweep photos in what many called were "derogatory" posts on microblogging platform on X.

The main opposition MDP, which holds a majority in the Maldivian Parliament, on Monday said it plans to submit a motion to impeach President Mohamed Muizzu, a day after clashes broke out in the House between pro-government MPs and opposition lawmakers following differences over the approval of four members of his cabinet.

The developments in Maldives has now snowballed into a political turmoil, with Muizzu-led coalition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People's National Congress (PNC) saying the Opposition will have to "kill" them all before they can even think of removing the president.

Behind all of this, is a man who goes by the moniker "Mr Sinha" on X, whose post had led to the Maldives-India row.

How 'Mr Sinha' Post Led To The India-Maldives Diplomatic Row

It was January 4 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted stunning pictures on his X account of Lakshadweep, a 36-island archipelago off Kerala coast and in between the Arabian Sea to the west and the Laccadive Sea.

As PM Modi's 'vocal-for-local' push gained momentum with his Lakshadweep pictures, many promoted the 36-island archipelago over the Maldives as a tourist destination. This irked some Maldivian lawmakers, who vent out through X posts, using words that did not go down well with the netizens and even led to their suspension in Maldives.

However, it was a post by Raushan Sinha, who identifies himself as a political commentator, that had triggered one of the Maldivian lawmakers to ridicule PM Modi.

Raushan Sinha, through X account @MrSinha, had shared PM Modi's Lakshadweep post with the caption: What a great move! It's a big setback to the new Chinese puppet gvt of Maldives. Also, it will boost tourism in #Lakshadweep." The comment sparked a strong reaction from Mariyam Shiuna, Maldives’ Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, Information, and Arts, who

Apart from Shiuna, Maldivian leaders Malsha Shareef and Mahzoom Majid had also made several derogatory comments on PM Modi, which ultimately led to their suspension.

President Muizzu's Impeachment

A decision to submit an impeachment motion was taken unanimously in a parliamentary group meeting of the main opposition party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), held on Monday.

On Sunday, clashes broke out in Parliament between pro-government MPs and opposition lawmakers over differences over the approval of four members of the pro-China President's cabinet.

Mohamed Muizzu is a pro-China leader who won the Maldives presidential election in October 2023 by defeating India-friendly Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Muizzu, 45, leads the People's National Congress, a party that presided over an influx of Chinese loans when it last held power in the country, known for its luxury beach resorts and celebrity tourists.

Maldives Opposition's Support For India

Soon after taking oath as the President of Maldives on November 17, Mohamed Muizzu had formally requested India to withdraw 88 military personnel from his country by March 15, saying the Maldivian people have given him a "strong mandate" to make this request to New Delhi.

With the new Maldivian government leaning towards China, Maldives' hostility of late has raised concerns around India’s national security.

However, multiple opposition leaders in the Maldives have backed India and shown support at multiple instances.

In a recent such show of support, a Maldives Jumhooree Party (JP) leader, Qasim Ibrahim, on Tuesday (January 30) urged Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu to formally apologise to PM Modi and the people of India over the diplomatic row.

"Regarding any country, especially a neighbouring one, we shouldn't speak in a way that affects the relationship. We have an obligation to our state that must be considered. President Solih did consider this obligation and issued a Presidential Decree banning the "India Out" campaign. Now, Yameen [former president Abdulla Yameen] is questioning why Muizzu, who participated with him in the India Out Campaign, has not nullified the Presidential Decree," he said.

Ibrahim added, "The Decree should not be nullified, as it would only result in a loss to the nation. That cannot be done. I would tell Muizzu that it shouldn't be done. Also, I call on President Muizzu to formally apologise to the Indian government and Prime Minister Modi regarding his remarks after the China trip."

On January 24, the MDP called India the “most long-standing ally,” with the Democrats expressing concern about the Muizzu government’s “anti-India stance.”

The open support (for India) by the two parties had come a day after the Maldives government said a Chinese ship, equipped to carry research and surveys, would be docking at a Maldivian port after being permitted to make a port call for replenishment. Traditionally, New Delhi has been the first port of call for a Maldivian President.


When the India-Maldives diplomatic row was at its peak, former foreign minister Abdulla Shahid had also described the remarks against PM Modi by his country's minister as "reprehensible and odious" and called India a "time-tested friend.

"I call on the government to reprimand these officials. Public figures must maintain decorum. They must accept that they are no longer social media activists and that they are now entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the interests of the people and the country," he said.

"India is a time-tested friend and an unwavering ally. They have historically been the first to respond in our time of need. Our close relationship has been bound by mutual respect, history, culture and strong people-to-people relations," Shahid had said.


'Kill Us Before Removing President: Muizzu's Party Big Message

The journey to the possible downfall of the government led by Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu accelerated post the diplomatic row with India and also gained momentum due to the leader's growing friendship towards China, the country he has even appealed to to send more tourists to the island nation.

Meanwhile, at a press conference on Monday, PPM Parliamentary Group (PG) Leader Eydhafushi constituency MP Ahmed Saleem said that the coalition would stop any efforts from MDP to remove President Muizzu from his office.

"We will not allow them any opportunities to go ahead with this. They will have to kill us all first before they can even think of removing the President from office," Saleem was quoted as saying by The


The Maldivian Parliament has a total of 80 members. The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has 45, followed by 13 members of its ally, the Democrats (DEM).

Of the ruling coalition of PPM-PNC, the Progressive Party of the Maldives has two while the People’s National Congress has 13 members. There are three independents while the Jumhooree Party and the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) have two each.

(With PTI inputs)