Bas, Jack, Vasant must show unity by attending

Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 11:45

For­mer UNC front­lin­ers Bas­deo Pan­day, Jack Warn­er and Vas­ant Bharath should show they’re se­ri­ous about uni­ty in the par­ty by at­tend­ing Sun­day’s UNC as­sem­bly, says UNC MP Fuad Khan.

“So that Singh and I aren’t the on­ly ones mak­ing the call. I’m get­ting plen­ty of crit­i­cism from peo­ple think­ing I’m try­ing to re­move our leader and bring Mr Pan­day back, but that’s com­plete­ly false,” Khan added yes­ter­day.

Khan spoke on the eve of Sun­day’s UNC as­sem­bly at Cou­va Mul­ti­pur­pose Hall where the par­ty is ex­pect­ed to be put on an elec­tion foot­ing and open calls for nom­i­nees.

Singh has been cam­paign­ing for uni­ty with oth­er groups, en­ti­ties, or­gan­i­sa­tions since a De­cem­ber func­tion which for­mer par­ty je­fes Pan­day, Warn­er and Bharath at­tend­ed and echoed uni­ty calls.

UNC leader Kam­la Per­sad-Bisses­sar sub­se­quent­ly said new faces are ex­pect­ed to be part of UNC and she wasn’t pre­pared to sleep with the dev­il (to re­move PNM).

But af­ter Singh re­cent­ly in­di­cat­ed he’s sub­mit­ted a res­o­lu­tion on the uni­ty call for de­bate at Sun­day’s as­sem­bly she said all are wel­come in UNC but must have the same vi­sion, mis­sion and phi­los­o­phy.

Khan, who’s sec­ond­ed Singh’s res­o­lu­tion for the as­sem­bly, said he con­tin­ues sup­port­ing it, But: “Peo­ple who seem to be part of the mem­ber­ship have been crit­i­cis­ing the call and me, par­tic­u­lar­ly on ra­dio.

Due to the pub­lic de­bate and emo­tion be­ing gen­er­at­ed, I ex­pect Sun­day’s as­sem­bly to have ‘fire­works’. How­ev­er I’d like peo­ple to see the mo­tion for what it is and stop feel­ing Gan­ga and I are work­ing ‘un­der­ground’ to re­move Mrs Per­sad- Bisses­sar and bring Bas back— that’s the worst com­ment I’ve heard be­ing said about us. But that’s not so at all.”

“So I’m call­ing on Mr Pan­day, Jack, Vas­ant and oth­ers who were coali­tion mem­bers to be big-mind­ed enough to at­tend Sun­day’s as­sem­bly if they’re se­ri­ous about uni­ty. I hope they’ll at­tend so that it’ll show mem­bers it’s not just Gan­ga and I push­ing for uni­ty,”

“We’re on­ly try­ing to bring all forces to­geth­er so we can have a par­ty of par­ties for elec­tions where each is strong in their own right. Con­cepts need to be tried.

The mis­takes we made in the past should be recog­nised. I’m not sure they have been but we need ma­tu­ri­ty in the pol­i­tics. If we stay the same way, we’ll re­main the same hop­ing on­ly to best PNM. “

We’re hop­ing to get new peo­ple so hope­ful­ly, this will start a move­ment. If our mo­tion is de­feat­ed on Sun­day, it may have been on­ly an ‘im­pos­si­ble dream’. But it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have been ar­tic­u­lat­ed. I hope we ex­am­ine it ob­jec­tive­ly- not emo­tion­al­ly.”

Singh said he felt “the call was gain­ing mo­men­tum out­side of the nar­row par­ty con­fines based on re­spons­es I’ve re­ceived. It’s clear peo­ple who aren’t par­ty mem­bers want the leader to be a mag­net for uni­ty. Of course, I ex­pect crit­i­cism but my job is to help per­suade peo­ple of the right­eous­ness of the uni­ty call.”

 Singh said he sup­port­ed Khan’s call for Pan­day, Warn­er and Bharath to at­tend the as­sem­bly, “but one man with an idea is a ma­jor­i­ty— es­pe­cial­ly on an idea whose time has come.”

Warn­er said yes­ter­day he wouldn’t at­tend. “I’m not ready yet. Let’s see what emerges from the as­sem­bly and I’ll dis­cuss it with my In­de­pen­dent Lib­er­al Par­ty,” he added.

Pan­day and Bharath didn’t an­swer calls.

Reporter: Gail Alexander