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ANALYSIS: The ‘Kai India’ Debate

National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad was given a good opportunity to debunk any speculations about his provisional candidates fuelling the flames of racism on FBC’s For the Record Show.
28 Sep 2018 10:17
ANALYSIS: The ‘Kai India’ Debate
National Federation Party (NFP) leader Biman Prasad.

National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad was given a good opportunity to debunk any speculations about his provisional candidates fuelling the flames of racism on FBC’s For the Record Show.

He was asked this question about where the Party stands since they already have one candidate charged with one count of racial or religious vilification under the Electoral Act of 2014.

He was also asked about two of his provisional candidates leav­ing the Party after being accused of rape but the provisional candi­date who was accused of racial or religious vilification continues to hold his place within the Party under the presumption of his innocence.

He had the golden opportunity to give the Party’s views on this. What does he do? He brings in a comment the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had made about himself being a ‘Kai India’ during a budget roadshow. Mr Prasad’s reference to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was an attempt to change the sub­ject and to, of course, do a side step.

But, comparing Mr Sayed-Khaiyum’s comments to the charges Mr Prasad’s provisional candidate fac­es are the same as compar­ing apples with oranges.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum had in fact said his portfolios were under constant scru­tiny possibly because he is a ‘Kai India’.

He had made this remark during a budget roadshow in Rishikul College in ear­ly August.

To explain further why Mr Prasad’s attempt to sidestep has fallen flat on his face one needs to remem­ber the events which led to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum making the statement.

An entire team of SODELPA youth had turned out to the road­show, joining the session at the end to ask their questions. One of them had asked Mr Sayed-Khaiyum why he ‘held onto so much power’ within Government and why was he controlling the entire country’s budget.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum explained that it was the Permanent Secre­tary for Economy Makereta Konrote who in fact signed off on req­uisition up to $1million and any expenditure above that, he signed off only on her recommendation.

He was then again asked the same question by another person.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum went on to list all the other ministers who also held multiple portfolios. Despite this, the same resident asked the same question further three times before Mr Sayed-Khaiyum responded that he frankly thought this issue was arising because people saw him as a ‘Kai India’. He explained that this was being made into an issue of race.

This is very different from having a provisional candidate of NFP charged with one count of racial or religious vilification, Mr Pras­ad, very, very different.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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