While the former government had awarded Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) to GMR for development, Interim Deputy President of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Umar Naseer has said that the main obstacle to reclaiming INIA from GMR is Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP).
Speaking at Villa TV “Fasmanzaru” program, Umar said that the invitation by the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to DRP leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali for a visit is also related to the GMR case.
“I do not think this trip is related to anything else. It is not the main opposition anymore as everyone knows, even if it is taken in an official manner, the Parliament minority leader is from PPM. Thasmeen is neither the minority leader nor the majority leader. Only the party registry is bigger,” Umar who has always accused Thasmeen of having “mysterious” connections with GMR said.
However, Thasmeen has always refuted the allegations directed by Umar.
In last night’s program, Umar said that the actions of Thasmeen will be revealed on a voting day at the Parliament regarding the GMR case and that on the day DRP will back the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
“DRP is mainly trying to avoid a vote. That is the first thing they will do. If we reach a voting session, DRP will be exposed to the people. Hence they are trying to avoid it. After trying to avoid a vote, if such a day comes, DRP will have to vote in favor of MDP and in favor of GMR. This is the reality we all are aware of. This is one of the reasons why we had to leave DRP.” Umar said.
Umar said that the assets of this country belong to its people and that PPM is a party willing to work to safeguard these assets.
When asked if INIA could be taken from GMR if all parties were to take a mutual stand, Umar said that President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik had the ability to do so.
“I hope that Waheed will do this even if DRP says no. Waheed is aware that it is what the people want and how the feelings of all the citizens are,” Umar said.
He said that the issues related to GMR was unfolding very slowly within the present government but added that even President Waheed’s government wants to take back INIA from GMR.