Finally, the bureau of investigation in India has cleared long-standing allegations that Mahendra Chaudhry had pocketed monies raised in his ancestral State of Haryana to help in the struggle of the Fiji-Indian community after the 2000 coup.
The money was raised through public donations by the chief minister of Harayan at the time, Om Pakash Chautala. Chaudhry says he had not asked for the money to be raised, nor had he received a cent of this money.
After questions from the media regarding the funds, he asked Chautala about the money and was told it was deposited in a Bank in India and would be despatched to him in due course.
In February 2003, Chaudhry wrote to the External Affairs Minister in the Indian Government about the money and asked that the matter be investigated since his good name was being sullied about something he had not received and knew nothing of.
But investigations into the matter were blocked by Chautala. At the beginning of this year, Chautala lost the elections in Haryana, defeated by Chief Minister Hooda. Chaudhry raised the issue with Hooda who began an investigation into the affair.
As a result, Chautala’s son Ajay is now saying that the money ($F38,000) was sitting in a bank and could not be transferred to Fiji because of exchange problems.
Chaudhry stands vindicated once and for all on an issue that had been raised consistently by his political detractors, trying to sully his integrity and reputation.