MAURITIUS

Why did India Break The MMM-Labour-PMSD-RP Alliance

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A meeting with the opposition politicians helped India’s new High Commissioner plant the seed of division.

The Indian rep Madame Kottapally Nandini Singla had a long talk with Labour leaders. 

Unsettling the MSM, the Indian diplomat also visited some media outlets.

Chiefs of diplomacy rarely visit both opponents of a regime it is bailing out with aid and long credit lines.

Not in a country where you bought over an Island to install your military base, re-Agalega.

But the affront of the Pravind Jugnauth government did not end there.

Instead of another year of ‘Katori, India threw Pravind under the bus offering only credit lines.

Mauritius can only use the credits to spend on Indian goods, military hardware and so on.

While, of course, closing an eye on Indian operation Mausam destined to check-mate China in the Indian Ocean.

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar must have felt he was welcomed in an Indian colony, the first since the Independence of New Delhi from Great Britain.

And right after he steps on a flight back to his homeland, Madame Singla was at work.

BREAK-UP

In an analysis of the break-up of the opposition grouping (a grouping we thought was not well discussed among the opposition parties), Sedley Assonne says Labour leader Navin Ramgoolam is responsible for the break-up of the alliance.

The only little detail we want to add is the role played by Madame in the break-up.

Yesterday, in our article on the Labour party leadership choices, we mentioned the breaking up of the grouping took place right after the Indian High Comm meeting with the Labour.

However, we did not expand on the reason why India would want to break this alliance.

There were attempts by the MSM to make it impossible for the alliance to exist in the first place. 

Naturally, the MSM would not want such an alliance that could threaten it in a general election. Though the elections are to take place in almost four years.

What the MSM was worried about is the impact of the alliance on its supporters and the MPs in government.

GEOPOLITICAL BATTLE

However, what India is worried about is the impact it will have on Agalega and its grip on Mauritius.

Ramgoolam is not a fan of the Narendra Modi government. Not religiously inclined, he would not pursue a policy of ‘Indianisation’ of the country.

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However, he tolerates some ‘religious’ groupings that are financed by the Indian government agencies. The readers know what we are talking about.

The breaking of the opposition alliance is not only India’s work. It is also that of other foreign powers that do not want to see China getting a firmer grip on Mauritius.

During Ramgoolam’s rule, China made headway in the country promising massive investments. Navin Ramgoolam saw the rise of China as a superpower will benefit his government.

He also saw this as a means to keep India’s Modi at bay. However, he has his flaws, and instead of working hard to secure a brighter future for the country, he squandered his popularity in cheap stunts that cost him the elections in 2014.

Sources say he never listens to advise and always think he is right and others are wrong. This is one contributing factor in 2014.

Many people do not know what happened in the backyard scenes of the 2014 elections and what brought Ramgoolam down in Triolet.

What led to the massive vote against him in constituency number 5? WorldFuture predictions on Ramgoolam defeat in 2014 is a fact.

However, India is playing the high ground now with Ramgoolam out of the opposition grouping, thus weakening the MMM-PMSD-RP alliance.

ANOTHER BREAK-UP AND INDIA

The MMM-PMSD-Labour-RP alliance would not be favourable to India’s machinations in the country.

The MMM lost power in 1983 after the break-up of the MMM-PSM alliance. The party has since then not shown much enthusiasm towards India’s communal agenda in Mauritius.

In 1987, India fully backed the MSM-Labour alliance that defeated a powerful MMM headed by Prem Nababsing. The MMM lost by only 3% in that year.

India fears a return of China on the horizon in Mauritius. China is planning to put Mauritius as one of the major ports in its African-Belt and Road Initiative projects.

A large majority of Africa’s 55 states,—along with the African Union—have signed memoranda of understanding with Beijing to finance and build modern highways, airports, and railways.

Only a few African countries are yet to jump on the bandwagon.

Why are they holding out against Beijing’s assertive push into Africa?

Geographically, these countries in all four regions in the continent. In the east (Eritrea, Mauritius), center (DR Congo, Central African Republic), west (Benin, Equatorial Guinea), and south (eSwatini, Botswana).

For Mauritius, we know it is about India. But a new government with the MMM-PMSD and Labour will not be that cozy towards India.

STRATEGIC GRIP

If India loses its strategic presence in this part of the Indian Ocean, it will open the door to China. 

Agalega has added to Diego Garcia’s military strength against the Chinese expansion in Africa and the Indian Ocean.

To keep this status-quo in favour of India, there must be a pro-Modi government in power in Port Louis.

So far, the break-up of the opposition is to the MSM and PM Pravind Jugnauth’s advantage.

This is baffling voters who want regime change in Mauritius. But India is not in surprise mode. India gains, PM Jugnauth gains.

But it is the role of Mr Bruneau Laurette that is still in question. People are asking why does he need a political party when he can bring his grouping (admins and closest supporters of the Citoyen group) in an alliance with the opposition?

That, my friends, will be the focus in a future article.

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