President Ibrahim “Ibu” Solih of Maldives arrives here Monday on an official visit under the shadow of a blistering political row in the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) that has pitted him against party colleague and Speaker Mohammed Nasheed.

This is Solih’s second official visit to India. He came once before in December 2018 days after his election. He was in Bengaluru on an unofficial visit in April 2019 to watch an IPL cricket match.

Over the last few months, Nasheed, who is former President, has been speaking openly against Solih and the government. He is also opposed to Solih’s candidature in the 2023 presidential elections.

Earlier this year, Solih’s candidate for the party chairmanship, Fayyaz Ismail, won over Nasheed’s candidate Imthiyaz Fahmy with 58 per cent of the votes, showing that a majority in the MDP are on Solih’s side.

On Thursday, Nasheed’s simmering hostility towards his former political protege boiled over after police arrested his brother Ahmed Nazim. Nasheed tweeted that “Ibu Solih’s administration has arrested my brother selectively accusing him of homosexuality. Arrest was made against criminal procedures and is politically motivated to appease hardline extremists in coalition”.

Nasheed accused the President of pandering to Islamist hardliners. Maldives is an Islamic republic of Sunni Muslims.

Nazim, a former parliamentarian himself, was arrested along with two other men, one of them a police officer, and another a Bangladeshi national. Nasheed said in a party WhatsApp group that his brother had been targeted when several others could have been investigated for having same-sex relations.

He also accuse

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