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Chaudhry Denies Meeting, Others Say It Took Place

Chaudhry Denies Meeting, Others Say It Took Place
April 30
10:43 2016

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday said Mahendra Chaudhry had fallen from grace with the people, especially the Indo-Fijian community, and he was not surprised that he was trying to rally support with cane farmers in Rakiraki.

The Fiji Sun was reliably informed that former prime minister and current leader of the Fiji Labour Party and general secretary of the now defunct National Farmers Union, had a meeting with farmers in Rakiraki about three weeks ago.

Mr Chaudhry denied outright that there was any meeting.

“Who told you I had meetings in Rakiraki with farmers?” he asked.

“I did not have any meeting in Rakiraki.”

However the managing director of Global Cargo Traders Robert Narayan said he was paid for the use of his premises to have the meeting which Mr Chaudhry attended.

“Yes they had a meeting but I was not there so I don’t know what was discussed,” he said.

“I am not involved with all this and only hired the space out.”

Cane farmers the Fiji Sun spoke to and who did not wish to be named said a meeting was held and the discussions were on the plight of the Rakiraki growers, especially in regards to the transportation of sugar cane to the Rarawai Mill.

The Fiji Sugar Corporation announced that the Penang Mill will be closed this crushing season because of the damage it sustained during Cyclone Winston.

Farmers from Rakiraki now have to transport their cane to Rarawai Mill in Ba but concerns surfaced on the transportation costs.

Mr Bainimarama said he was not surprised by Mr Chaudhry’s attempts to talk to farmers.

“He should realise that is why a lot of Indo-Fijians did not vote for him in the last elections,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“I think the people, especially the Indo-Fijian community, are wiser now.”

On the cane farmers’ plight in regards to transportation costs to deliver the harvested cane to Ba, Mr Bainimarama said Government was going to make an announcement shortly.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

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