Maldives President Muizzu Invited To Modi's Swearing-In Ceremony

India-Maldives ties strained in January this year when a few ministers from the island nation passed controversial comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pictures from Lakshadweep.

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu (L) with PM Narendra Modi (R) Photo: PTI/File

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu is among the top leaders who will be attending the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi that is likely to take place on June 9. The Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won a reduced majority in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections 2024.

The invitation to Mohamed Muizzu assumes significance as it came amid frosty ties between the two countries.

The ties between India and the Maldives came under severe strain since November last year when Muizzu, known for his pro-China leanings, took charge as Maldivian president.

India-Maldives ties strained further in January this year when a few ministers from the island nation passed controversial comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pictures from Lakshadweep.

Top Leaders Attending Modi's Swearing-In

Apart from Maldives, top leaders of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Mauritius and Seychelles are likely to attend the swearing-in ceremony of PM Modi over the weekend.

It is learnt that India has already sent invites to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and some other leaders of the countries chosen to grace the ceremony.

Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth and President of Seychelles Wavel Ramkalawan are among the leaders being invited to Modi's swearing-in ceremony.

Modi is all set to take charge as the prime minister for a historic third consecutive term with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) winning 293 seats in the Lok Sabha polls.

The guest list of foreign leaders for Modi's swearing-in ceremony was primarily guided by New Delhi's "Neighbourhood First Policy" and its strategic focus on island nations considered important in the Indian Ocean region, it is learnt.

The media division of President Wickremesinghe's office on Wednesday said Modi invited him to the swearing-in ceremony during a phone conversation. It said Wickremesinghe accepted the invite.

"During the conversation, Prime Minister @narendramodi invited President Wickremesinghe to his swearing-in ceremony, which President @RW_UNP accepted," it said on X.

The leaders of regional grouping SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries attended Modi's first swearing ceremony when he took the reins as the prime minister after a massive electoral victory for BJP.

Leaders of the BIMSTEC countries attended Modi's swearing-in ceremony, in 2019 when he became prime minister for the second consecutive term.

Though the BJP could not get a majority on its own in the polls, the party-led alliance secured 293 seats out of 543. The majority mark in the lower house is 272.