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Nagarjuna cancels Maldives trip amid India-Maldives tug of war

Tamilnadu, Jan 15 (WD):

Amidst diplomatic tensions between India and Maldives stemming from derogatory comments by three now-suspended Maldivian ministers about Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India, actor Nagarjuna has reportedly canceled his family holiday trip to Maldives. Expressing displeasure, he mentioned working nonstop and shifted plans to visit Lakshadweep.

Nagarjuna emphasized the inappropriate nature of the ministers’ comments, expressing solidarity with PM Modi, a global figure representing 1.5 billion Indians. The ministers had labeled PM Modi a “clown” and a “puppet of Israel” in response to his posts about Lakshadweep islands.

The controversy led to a “Boycott Maldives” campaign on social media, impacting travel plans from India. Ease My Trip suspended flight bookings to Maldives, prompting the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) to seek positive relations assistance.

As tensions persist, a decline in holiday queries for Maldives is evident. Bollywood actors and personalities advocate “Explore Indian Islands.” Despite being a significant source of tourism for Maldives, recent developments, including a pro-China stance, raise concerns about the tourism industry’s future. In 2023, India contributed 209,198 tourists to Maldives, making up 11.1% of the market share.

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