1 Oct 2003

Fiji Labour Party Leader accused of using Farmers Union to further his own agenda

10:12 am on 1 October 2003

Moves are afoot in Fiji to oust Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry from his rural power base as general secretary of the National Farmers Union

Fiji TV reports that the action is being taken jointly by the new president of the union, Dewan Chand, and the majority of its Labasa branch executives.

They have jointly signed a petition to Mr Chaudhry asking him not to interfere in the affairs of the union's Labasa branch, failing which they will take legal action to remove him from his position.

The executives say they have had enough of Mr Chaudhry and accused him of using the National Farmers Union to fool farmers and use them to fulfill his and the Labour Party's agendas.

Mr Chand says Mr Chaudhry should stop all his legal actions against the government and resume dialogue to prevent land lease problems which are seeing the evictions of thousands of farmers.

Mr Chand says the National Farmers Union and the Labour party are losing support by the day because of the evictions in Labasa where the party is facing a by-election in December.

Another union executive, Gaya Prasad, says they have given a lot of money to the National Farmers Union which has not been accounted for.