Dr Reddy denies use of abusive words by PM

Assistant minister Vijay Nath (left) stresses a point to Agriculture minister Mahendra Reddy at parliament. Picture: JONA KONATACI

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama had not told the Parliamentary Privileges Committee that he used abusive words against suspended Opposition MP Pio Tikoduadua.

This was said to the committee by Agriculture Minister and committee member Dr Mahendra Reddy during their deliberation on a matter of privilege against the two MPs on September 4.

According to the verbatim report of the meeting, the committee chairwoman and Deputy Speaker Veena Bhatnagar had said the verbatim report proved that Mr Bainimarama said some abusive words “but exactly what, that we do not know”.

“It was just that in anger, people do say things,” Mrs Bhatnagar said.

In response, Dr Reddy said for the record, Mr Bainimarama did not say that he used some abusive words.

“Just for the record, he did not say that he used some abusive words, he did not say that. What he said was, he cautioned honourable Lt. Col. Pio Tikoduadua, ‘Why did you make a personal attack? Why did you attack my family?’ He said that,” Dr Reddy said.

Meanwhile, in his evidence before the committee, Mr Bainimarama was asked whether he recalled the words he told Mr Tikoduadua to which he responded, “Well, I abused him”.

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