New Delhi (Sputnik): Indian lawmaker Subramanian Swamy has clarified that the views he expresses on social media are not necessarily the official stance of India's ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), following a huge controversy over a recent tweet in which he opined that "India should invade [the] Maldives" if rigging takes place in the country's upcoming presidential elections.
"It's my opinion that [the] Indian government has a responsibility to protect its citizens for which invasion is necessary," local news agency ANI quoted Swamy as saying.
— ANI (@ANI) August 28, 2018
— WION (@WIONews) August 27, 2018
The island nation's government has also submitted a démarche to the Indian government, expressing shock at the statement.
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) August 26, 2018
On August 22, Swamy had tweeted that he met with former Maldivian President Nasheed.
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) August 22, 2018
Meanwhile, the government of India has sought to completely disassociate itself from the idea of invading the Maldives as suggested by Subramanian Swamy.
"The opinion expressed by Dr. Swamy in his tweet is personal. It does not reflect the views of the government of India," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
Bilateral relations between India and the Maldives have been tense since February this year when the president of the Maldives declared a state of emergency, which was condemned by India.