Sudhakar Told To ‘Step Down’

In an interview yesterday, the Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources said he would sue the woman who accused him, for defamation.
13 Mar 2020 09:49
Sudhakar Told To ‘Step Down’
Ashneel Sudhakar.

Ashneel Sudhakar, the Government minister who has been at the centre of a sexual harassment claim, has refused to resign but opted to follow procedures.

In an interview yesterday, the Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources said he would sue the woman who accused him, for defamation.

“She is lying,” Mr Sudhakar said and questioned why should he resign?

“Anybody can make an allegation against me. Do I resign? Do I step down?”

He said he would not resign and that the woman should come forward with better evidence and provide dates of the incidents.

“People can malign me, but I also have my legal avenues which I am going to use soon,” he said.

“I am open for anything, for public scrutiny and the Prime Minister, my bosses can call for an investigation.”

FijiFirst Party General Secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said he had shown Mr Sudhakar all the documents and asked him to resign given the enormity of the allegation.

He said the party would follow all necessary processes and procedure before making any decision on any disciplinary matter.

“I had asked him given the enormity of the allegation to resign for his own benefit and dignity and also for the party’s sake and it was a lengthy discussion, but he has refused to. He wants to follow the process which we are going to follow,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“I showed him all the documents yesterday (Wednesday), but for us to formally go through the process we have to put it all down, but he has seen all the documents.”

Meanwhile, two Opposition Members of Parliament have called for his resignation.

Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya said:

“I call on the minister concerned, the Minister for Lands that he should be suspended pending investigations by the Police, by the rightful authorities within the ministry and PSC processes pending that investigation and if he is found guilty then he should resign.”

Opposition MP and Shadow Minister for Women Salote Radrodro said women who have been subjected to such unwanted sexual advances must come out and report the matter to the Police.

“We do not condone sexual misconducts and it is increasing,” Ms Radrodro said.

The National Federation Party has said that they do not want to comment on the matter at this stage.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa


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