GAIL ALEXAN­DER

A new Unit­ed Na­tion­al Con­gress will re­turn stal­warts who’ve been alien­at­ed from the par­ty and will have a com­mit­tee of el­ders com­pris­ing for­mer MPs, says lead­er­ship con­tender Vas­ant Bharath.

He al­so of­fered those plans while deem­ing the Kam­la Per­sad-Bisses­sar lead­er­ship a fail­ure Рin­clud­ing on the re­cent An­ti-Gang de­bate in Par­lia­ment

Speak¬≠ing at a meet¬≠ing last night, Bharath added, ‚ÄúTo the cur¬≠rent lead¬≠er¬≠ship, I say the en¬≠tire na¬≠tion is look¬≠ing on. If you can¬≠not man¬≠age your par¬≠ty‚Äôs af¬≠fairs and its de¬≠mo¬≠c¬≠ra¬≠t¬≠ic in¬≠ter¬≠nal elec¬≠tion with ho¬≠n¬≠our and prin¬≠ci¬≠ple, how could the coun¬≠try ex¬≠pect you to pro¬≠vide dis¬≠tin¬≠guished, com¬≠pe¬≠tent and fair na¬≠tion¬≠al lead¬≠er¬≠ship?‚ÄĚ

Bharath lament­ed T&T’s state un­der the Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment but said the UNC of­fered no hope ei­ther.

‚ÄúWe meet at a time when T&T‚Äôs in in¬≠ter¬≠na¬≠tion¬≠al head¬≠lines for all the wrong rea¬≠sons, be¬≠cause of a hor¬≠ri¬≠ble mi¬≠gra¬≠tion cri¬≠sis in¬≠flict¬≠ed up¬≠on us by the in¬≠com¬≠pe¬≠tent, un¬≠car¬≠ing Row¬≠ley regime,‚ÄĚ Bharath said.

‚ÄúWe‚Äôre here when more peo¬≠ple are falling vic¬≠tims of gory crimes, more job¬≠less work¬≠ers have no food and flash floods af¬≠fect house¬≠holds. ‚Ķ when corpses are falling out of a hearse and a new¬≠born is dumped, but zessers are par¬≠ty¬≠ing like no¬≠body‚Äôs busi¬≠ness – and chil¬≠dren are be¬≠ing de¬≠port¬≠ed against the law.‚ÄĚ

List¬≠ing oth¬≠er prob¬≠lems, Bharath added, ‚ÄúAnd if that‚Äôs the state of the re-elect¬≠ed Gov¬≠ern¬≠ment, the par¬≠lia¬≠men¬≠tary Op¬≠po¬≠si¬≠tion of¬≠fers no bet¬≠ter hope. But we shouldn‚Äôt be sur¬≠prised – in re¬≠cent gen¬≠er¬≠al elec¬≠tions the UNC lead¬≠er¬≠ship was un¬≠able to top¬≠ple the weak¬≠est most in¬≠com¬≠pe¬≠tent PNM regime in T&T‚Äôs his¬≠to¬≠ry.‚ÄĚ

Bharath said in T&T’s eco­nom­ic and oth­er dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances, there’s need for an Op­po­si­tion that could mo­bilise the na­tion in peo­ple’s in­ter­est, the way UNC founder Bas­deo Pan­day had ral­lied work­ers.

He said in the Par­lia­ment, the UNC had bun­gled any ef­fort at na­tion­al in­ter­est in ab­stain­ing from sup­port­ing the An­ti-Gang bill

‚ÄúFor days, the Op¬≠po¬≠si¬≠tion Leader said she‚Äôd sup¬≠port the amend¬≠ment if Gov¬≠ern¬≠ment guar¬≠an¬≠teed bring¬≠ing pro¬≠cure¬≠ment leg¬≠is¬≠la¬≠tion. But in Par¬≠lia¬≠ment, she and her mer¬≠ry band of hem¬≠line devo¬≠tees ab¬≠stained,‚ÄĚ he said.

“Things got more bizarre, when an Op­po­si­tion sen­a­tor bit­ter­ly at­tacked the Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er. Clear­ly, he had the leader’s tac­it sup­port be­cause she didn’t in­ter­vene.

‚ÄúIn it all, the Op¬≠po¬≠si¬≠tion con¬≠tin¬≠ued speak¬≠ing from both sides of its mouth, lead¬≠ing to wide¬≠spread con¬≠dem¬≠na¬≠tion from na¬≠tion¬≠al stake¬≠hold¬≠ers in¬≠clud¬≠ing busi¬≠ness¬≠es. The mis¬≠han¬≠dling of this vi¬≠tal is¬≠sue is an as¬≠sault on com¬≠mon sense and a glar¬≠ing ex¬≠am¬≠ple of the hap¬≠haz¬≠ard, dys¬≠func¬≠tion¬≠al state of T&T‚Äôs so-called al¬≠ter¬≠na¬≠tive gov¬≠ern¬≠ment. This is the re¬≠sult of ab¬≠sen¬≠tee lead¬≠er¬≠ship.‚ÄĚ

Bharath said the in­fan­tile ap­proach to na­tion­al busi­ness is seen in sev­er­al new MPs.

“One brash im¬≠ma¬≠ture mem¬≠ber has been nasty to mem¬≠bers sim¬≠ply be¬≠cause they sup¬≠port my slate. One per¬≠son who had his own par¬≠ty and once de¬≠mand¬≠ed the leader‚Äôs res¬≠ig¬≠na¬≠tion over Sec¬≠tion 34 is now vi¬≠cious¬≠ly at¬≠tack¬≠ing mem¬≠bers.‚ÄĚ

His plans in­clude hav­ing a team to han­dle al­liances/uni­ty with oth­ers. He said there would al­so be a probe on why UNC lost elec­tions, a par­ty school would be es­tab­lished and head­quar­ters would be sought. Robert Ram­samooj will head the re­build­ing com­mit­tee.

Bharath said ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties his team cit­ed in the elec­tion haven’t been ad­dressed and while mem­bers were get­ting texts and phone calls from the oth­er team, the elec­toral list his team re­ceived had no phone num­bers.

PNM uni­fy­ing UNC di­vid­ing

Deputy UNC leader can­di­date Joe Pires said the PNM brought in Pen­ny Beck­les and Bri­an Man­ning and was cre­at­ing uni­ty while UNC was di­vid­ing.

He not¬≠ed that Abra¬≠ham Lin¬≠coln said he’d de¬≠stroyed his en¬≠e¬≠mies by mak¬≠ing friends.

‚ÄúIt’s time to make friends in our par¬≠ty and unite,” Pires said.

Elec¬≠tions of¬≠fi¬≠cer can¬≠di¬≠date Kami¬≠ni Ram¬≠raj said the in¬≠cum¬≠bent leader’s way has failed and if UNC want¬≠ed to see gov¬≠ern¬≠ment again, mem¬≠bers have to leave the “safe¬≠ty” of Op¬≠po¬≠si¬≠tion. She said the elec¬≠tion wasn’t about Bharath or the leader but whether UNC will stop be¬≠ing ir¬≠rel¬≠e¬≠vant.

Deputy chair¬≠man can¬≠di¬≠date Her¬≠shael Rame¬≠sar said the team’s pro¬≠pos¬≠als in¬≠clud¬≠ed hav¬≠ing a con¬≠gress af¬≠ter the elec¬≠tion, where a mo¬≠tion for uni¬≠ty would be aired and mem¬≠bers would be the ones to de¬≠cide who the UNC should unite with. He said he loved UNC’s leader but, ‚Äúthe hard¬≠est part of true love is know¬≠ing at some point one has to let go.”

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