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More Claims Against NFP Man

More Claims Against NFP Man
Natinal Federation Pary provisional candidate Pradeep Chandra.
July 27
11:10 2018

More people have come out and accused National Federation Party provisional candidate Pradeep Chandra of making anti-Muslim comments.

They follow the original claims that were made earlier from some residents of Nukuloa, Ba, including Jashwant Lal.

But Mr Chandra dismissed the claims saying he would never make such comments because he also believed in equality.

The latest claims come in the wake of a Fiji Sun–Razor poll which found that 60 per cent of the 1000 people interviewed agreed that the Opposition was using race and religion in their campaigns.

Ved Prakash Sharma, 52, a Vatusui resident, alleged he met Mr Chandra on Monday at the Ba Municipal Market.

Mr Sharma claimed Mr Chandra told  him not to vote for the current Government.

“Mr Chandra said If you vote for FijiFirst, then all Muslims will run over the country. We will not have any place to live, everything will be taken away from us,” he claimed.

“He said that Muslims would hold the country.

“He said that we will not have any place to run.”

Mr Sharma, who is a truck driver by profession, said he was overly concerned as he believed that such remarks could cause cultural unrest in Fiji.

His account is consistent with the claims by Mr Lal of Nukuloa, Ba, who alleged he met Mr Chandra at his home.

A woman of Nukuloa also spoke out but on the condition of anonymity.

She claimed that Mr Chandra told her at her residence that because of Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum,

“the red cultural flag which she has in her compound would be turned into green.” 

She said Mr Chandra allegedly said that Muslims would rule the country if the current government was re-elected.

She said she was petrified by the remarks because she believed in inclusiveness. She said  this was what was making Fiji tick at the moment.

She alleged that the meeting with Mr Chandra took place around 5.30pm last Saturday where Mr Chandra allegedly talked about the school nearby before progressing to the alleged anti-Muslim remarks.

She recounted he allegedly told her: “He said ‘I have come here to campaign. The current government has been in power for 12 years and has not done anything. We want to change everything this year’”

She told Mr Chandra that they had already decided on which party they would be voting for and remarks like this would only cause damage to society.

“Don’t defame anyone,” she told Mr Chandra.

She acknowledged that Mr Chandra should not have made such remarks.

“I told him though Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is in the current government, we still pray to which ever God we want. There is no one stopping us in doing that,” she said.

She claimed that Mr Chandra replied that the Fijian Elections office was also playing games with everyone.

“He said before they used to give photos and assign it with the party but now they are using the number systems to confuse the people,” she said.

NFP Leader Biman Prasad refused to give credence to the people who have come forward.

This is not the first time the NFP provisional candidates have been highlighted for such comments.

In Labasa, three people had come out claiming that NFP Member of Parliament Parmod Chand had made similar comments. Mr Prasad at that time said they would investigate the comments. Nothing has been said about any outcome of any investigation.

Narendra Singh, 47, an advisory councillor residing in Vatusui, Ba, said that such remarks could really impact on society.

“We are currently living in peace and harmony and this kind of remarks should be stopped immediately,” stated Mr Singh.

“People in the villages do not know much and may think of it as the truth if someone says so,” he stated.

“We do not want any type of racial disputes to arise,” he added.

“They should only talk about their manifesto things which they will do and not this,” he added.

Feedback:  yogesh.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

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