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NFP’s Singh slammed for racial vilification

17:12 Fri Nov 09, 2018

National Federation Party candidate, Charan Jeeth Singh

Taken from/By:
Report by: Rachael Nath

With only five days left for Fijians to head to the polls, some politicians have fiercely resorted to racial vilification, bringing back the old style of politics to sway votes.

Recently, National Federation Party candidate, Charan Jeeth Singh has taken a swipe against the Gujarati community particularly businesses – claiming they’ve been channeling funds into the FijiFirst for campaign but with a personal gain.

“At this time the FijiFirst has close to $8 million for campaigning – where did that funds come from? What has happened that all these big Gujarati businesses especially hardware companies have openly given 1 to 3 hundred thousand dollars. Why they have given is because Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum along with Voreqe Bainimarama have gone to these people’s houses and have said you should give me money – if you don’t give it then you’ll see what happens. Due to fear they are giving three to four hundred thousand. The other thing is that they are giving from one hand but they are also taking from the other.”

RC Manubhai, Managing Director, Bhavesh Kumar has rubbished these claims.

“To support any party that is the discretion of the person. He knows very well unless his company is supporting NFP which is totally illegal. Any person, director, or owner of the company can personally give donation to any party of their preference – it is not the company that has given. Either he is mistaken or he has not read the rules right.”

The Labasa entrepreneur claims these Gujarati businesses have also made big gains through the government in the past four years.

“If you see all these big hardware companies during TC Winston they got huge sales. So if you see in one way they are giving hundred thousand and they made huge profits as well. That is how they got the $8m and that is how they are funding all these big billboards around the country – the budget for the billboard is only $1.9m.”

Vinod Patel Chief executive, Veeral Patel has called Singh’s campaigning approach a far cry to lure votes, stating this form of racial vilification needs to stop.

“NFP going around using the race card as means to influence voters is a sign of a candidate who doesn’t have much to offer and this sort of racial campaigning needs to stop. End of the day regardless of our racial back ground we are all Fijians.”

Fiji has had a long history of old politicians using the race card to rake in votes at the expense of innocent Fijians.

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