Male (Maldives): Maldives ex-President President Abdulla Yameen has started to whip up anti-India stance ahead of the scheduled Presidential elections next year.

Yameem, who is the political manager of the China-backed "India Out" campaign, and his aides are using this platform to score brownie points against President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih administration ahead of the Presidential Election next year. They and their cohorts in social media appear to have succeeded in raising political temperature, according to Policy Research Group (PRG).

Interestingly, as President of the Maldives, Yameem had laid the foundation for the Chinese debt trap in 2015.

The 'India Out' campaign of the Islamist news portal Dhiyares and its founder Ahmed Azaan in the Maldives relies heavily on Chinese propaganda to whip up anti-India sentiment. The primary allegation is that the government of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is promoting Indian military presence in the Maldives, as noted by PRG.

Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom is a Maldivian politician who was President of the Maldives from 2013 to 2018. He left office on 17 November 2018 following his defeat in the 2018 presidential election, in which he sought to win a second 5-year term.

The incumbent Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) under President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih holds majority in Parliament but if the opposition wins the Presidential election next year, the island nation will have a divided government, which would likely cause domestic rifts through policy deadlocks.

Meanwhile, Yameen's acquittal by the Maldives Supreme Court last November in a corruption case makes him eligible to run for the top post in the country. Recently, in a speech at a Progressive Party of Maldives -People National Congress rally, Yameen publicly claimed ownership of the campaign for the removal of Indian military presence, and thus paved the way for the opposition coalitions' election strategy.

The pro-Chinese coalition is attempting to sway the tech-savvy educated class with the aid of an Islamist nationalist political agenda with India as the focus of attention. The coalition is relying on a sustained campaign of xenophobia, hate and mistrust, while wanting to sweep under the carpet its own misdeeds when it was in power and such a campaign is tailor-made to pump prime the interests of China as observed by the PRG.

The Maldives government had earlier condemned attempts to spread false information through media and across social media platforms, using the so-called "India Out".

The Government said that it believes that false allegations regarding ties with one of the country's key bilateral partners are "misguided and unsubstantiated."

"The Government firmly believes that these views are not the sentiments of the general public, but rather that of a small group of individuals with the objective of tarnishing the country's long-standing cordial ties with India," said the statement of the Government of Maldives.