Ahead of hectic confabulations among global majors, scheduled in Male on Saturday, envoys of P-5 countries and Sri Lanka met here on Friday Indian diplomats, who favoured meeting the former Maldivian President, Mohammed Nasheed's demands mid-way.

New Delhi wanted early elections, which is what Mr. Nasheed has sought, but did not think the government led by his former deputy was unconstitutional.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in a brief observation, did not touch on either formulation. He hoped the stalemate could be resolved through peaceful dialogue and asserted that India will use its influence in “that direction.”

South Block was also not amused by Mr. Nasheed's volte face after he claimed to have quit voluntarily to avoid using force.

Government sources said the Maldivian Foreign Secretary, main interface with India since things began hotting up in Male about a fortnight ago, in fact called up on Tuesday morning and informed them about Mr. Nasheed's decision to resign.

India, at no point, was inclined to intervene militarily despite having several assets in the region, because this was an internal matter and not like 1988 when the armed forces launched “Operation Cactus” after a small-time businessman hired foreign mercenaries to overthrow the previous President, Mohd. Gayoom.

India refutes Mr. Nasheed's claims about the illegitimacy of the transfer of power by claiming that what followed after his resignation – Waheed Hasan becoming the President – was as per the Constitution, which identifies the Vice President as the next in line if the President resigns.

Even as South Block dispatched a congratulatory letter from the Prime Minister the next day, the situation took an unexpected turn when Mr. Nasheed said his resignation was not voluntary, but extracted from him “almost at gun- point.''

India is in agreement with Dr. Waheed declaring his preference for a coalition government of all major parties to cool down tempers in the country.

At the same time, officials don't want to be perceived as influencing the course of politics or government formation in the Maldives by repeatedly stressing that the squabble is an “internal matter.''

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