1 Oct 2003

Dumped Fiji Farmers Union president accuses Mahendra Chaudhry of double standards

5:28 pm on 1 October 2003

The ousted president of Fiji's National Farmer's Union, Dewan Chand, says that he is a victim of the double standards of the union's general secretary, Mahendra Chaudhry.

Mr Chand was dumped yesterday in a Labasa meeting headed by Mr Chaudhry who confronted him with claims he was misusing farmers funds.

Mr Chand had earlier presented a petition calling for Mr Chaudhry to be removed from his post, accusing him of using the union to fool farmers and to fulfill his political agenda.

The Labasa Mayor Charan Jeeth Singh, acting as Mr Chand's translator, says Mr Chaudhry levelled the accusations at Mr Chand to take the heat off himself.

"there was a lot of pressure on him and hence he made a move to try to block out Mr Dewan Chand so that his questions would not be answered. What it really means is that this person who talks about accountability, transparency and good governance and about democracy, is practisng the opposite and if anything, he is trying to be a dictator, worse than Hitler."

Charan Jeeth Singh, speaking for ousted Farmers Union President, Dewan Chand.