The government was prompt to highlight the success of the visit of the Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, the achievements whose details, however, the nation does not know yet a thing or two. They have not been made public yet, as discussions were held behind closed doors.
The thorniest issue of Double taxation (Double Tax Avoidance Treaty) which is feared to have been tightened by the Indian authorities now and again, perceived as an un-brotherly slap by large section of the Mauritians has not been sorted out. The good tiding was expected to be announced by the Chief Guest who was himself the Finance Minister of Federal India.
Apart from the rhetoric of both sides, the population do not know much about the fall-out of the visit with the chief guest stating a filmy dialogue “Sath denge, sath rahenge” at a cultural show in the south village of Grand Bois, who was earlier conferred the “Doctor of Civil Law honoris causa” by the University of Mauritius at its Reduit campus.
The visiting president reminded the nation that India offers about one hundred scholarships to Mauritians and there is vast scope for Indian investments in education, the ocean exploration and…and that small Mauritius is admired the world over for the progress.
In fact, the visit of the Indian President was marred with controversies with the local press relaying comments from the Hindu newspaper regarding India gathering forces to intervene in Mauritius a decade ago and the current alleged scandals involving the OFFSHORE sector. The press dwelt lengthily how in 1983 the then Government of India governed by late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had planned to intervene militarily in the event the power was seized by Mr. Paul Berenger a French origin Mauritian perceived to be anti Indian who espoused Stalinist doctrines.
The press also echoed the chopper scam involving a Mauritian offshore company ’, Infotech Design Systems Ltd. of Mauritius, as conniving party in the scandal together with Indians citing reports from The Times of India: Amid allegations of nearly Rs 16 crore being routed through IDS Infotech, the CBI's six member team seized bank statements of Bagrodia and Agarwal, running into over Rs 24 crore, from the company's premises in Mohali.”
However, it was not clear if the accounts were frozen by the CBI. “These are regular procedures. We cannot disclose the freezing of accounts until the investigations are complete," TOI, on February 19 had revealed that the mystery firm IDS mentioned in the 64-page charge-sheet filed by Italian prosecutors was Mohali-based IDS Infotech.
The visit is seen by many observers and the opposition as a build up to rally Indians in favour of the incumbent Prime Minister who may face a snap poll anytime from now on, as his government is tarred with many allegations of frauds and corruptions.
The high profile prime minister who rules like an elected monarch with tremendous powers more than the present day hereditary monarchs has suddenly lost favours even within his own party’s rank and file since the Labour Party’s activist Nandanee Sornack’s affair in the wake of the local government elections.
The nation is aghast and wild over the fact how people from middle class background could become so overwhelmingly rich overnight after an encounter with the untouchable monarch of the Republic.
Mauritius is a very interesting case study for students of political science. There are three large political parties. Any two joining forces together win the jackpot. The ruling party has lost their partner with whom they won the bride in 2010. Hence, all the emotional gimmick to prevent electoral erosion. Can India save the regime? Will it work? Time will tell!
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