India does not want a repetition of the Ramgoolam regime ruling the country, preferring a Paul Berenger/Jugnauth regime instead.
And it is the reason behind this shift in policy on Mauritius that would startle many, though it is not surprising given former PM Navin Ramgoolam’s career.
Berenger, according to our source in New Delhi, is seen by the Narendra Modi’s regime as straight forward political figure.
“Under Berenger, India saw that Mauritius repaid all its debts, and returned all the financial support given by New Delhi to Mauritius in time.
“Not only that, under Berenger (both as PM and Minister of Finance), while India benefited with its investment in Mauritius, the tiny Island Republic also benefited largely,” said the source.
The projects were delivered in time, and these projects kept the country’s economy going. There were no economic disasters as we have seen under Navin and Pravind Jugnuath, said the source.
However, this is not the case with the Ramgoolam regime.
Though the Labour government cannot be accused of wrong doing when it comes to the usage of foreign aid and foreign-driven soft loans to the country, the projects were not always delivered in time or never delivered at all.
“The money was not used, were used partially and this resulted in a staggered economic growth momentum, unlike the growth rates recorded under Berenger’s tutelage,” said the source.
And that is the big difference in the choice that India has when it comes to safeguarding its investments, its geo-political designs in the Indian Ocean and its relations with Mauritius.
Nevertheless, under Ramgoolam, Mauritius were turning more or less towards China while India’s role was diminishing.
The Indians had the impression that the Labour Party were not totally ‘India’ friendly.
It is for this reason that New Delhi backed the MSM-ML-PMSD-OPR regime when it took power after defeating the Ramgoolam-Berenger alliance.
New Delhi was also against the Ramgoolam-Berenger deal, even predicting their defeat (as revealed by WFTV).