Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 26th 2014 Contents said.
"That is his biggest challenge,"
He said during the build-up
to the 2010 election, he was never
furnished with an electoral list-
"They were the ones in con-
trol," he said.
Panday said the internal elec-
tions were already overdue by a
year, and it must be called before
the end of this month.
"I am concerned about the
legality of last year s postpone-
ment. The elections are overdue,
and the question now is whether
they are holding office legally,"
January 26, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
A faction within the United
National Congress (UNC) is backing
Trade and Industry Minister Vasant
Bharath to challenge Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar in the
upcoming internal elections.
The minister, Sunday Guardian
understands, has the blessings of for-
mer leader Basdeo Panday and former
party chairman Jack Warner.
Bharath is quietly making inroads
in Felicity, in Warner s Chaguanas
West constituency, and has been
involved in small, low-key meet-and-
greets with the residents since
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar has given her blessings to
Bharath to start campaigning in Cha-
gauanas West, in preparation for the
2015 general election.
They speculate that unknowing to
Persad-Bissessar, Warner has also
given his blessings and support to
Bharath since there is a plan for
Warner to reunite with the UNC
under new management.
People close to the unfolding sit-
uation requested anonymity, but said
Warner "had to be aware" of the
walkabouts as he (Warner) is a
"hands-on representative" and is
always aware of what was happening
in his constituency.
"Warner cannot say he does not
know. Nothing goes on in his con-
stituency that he does not know
about," one party insider said.
As the party prepares not only for
its own internal elections but for the
2015 general elections, the UNC is
said to be looking at removing some
ministers from the line-up.
One minister rumoured to get the
axe is Minister of Tourism Stephen
Cadiz. Sources said they were likely
to lose the seat if Cadiz contests.
"See? That ties in with what I m
saying. The minister (name called)
walking in Jack constituency with
Jack blessing, because Jack looking
to try for Chaguanas East instead and
give his blessings to (name called) to
take over Chaguanas West," he said.
Jack: That is foolish talk;
Vasant don't have what it takes
Contacted, Warner told the Sunday
Guardian, "That is foolish talk.
"You should not write any and
every foolishness you hear. If, how-
ever, you do persist to write, then all
I have to ask is that you quote what
I have said."
When told that the information
came from within the UNC, but out-
side of the alleged cabal, he then
admitted that he had heard that
Bharath was going to contest the lead-
"I am aware of that, but it will burn
itself out," he said.
Warner said he did not think
Bharath had what it takes to take over
"Not in our collective lifetime," he
Bharath had leadership
aspirations in 2010
The Sunday Guardian understands
that Bharath had leadership aspira-
tions during the 2010 leadership elec-
tions. He was also being groomed by
Panday for leadership, party sources
Bharath, the Sunday Guardian was
told, even withheld his support from
Persad-Bissessar and only grudgingly
voted against Panday.
In a brief telephone interview on
Thursday, Panday said he too had
heard the rumour that Bharath was
going to toss his hat in the election
ring. He said every politician had
aspirations to become leader, but
warned Bharath that the internal elec-
toral machinery may be against him.
, if I may use that word,
controls the ballot boxes, the transport
of the ballot boxes, the storage of the
ballot boxes after the election. It is
very difficult to win against that," he
Faction in UNC backs Vasant for leader
Vasant: I have been
walking in Chaguanas West
Trade Minister Vasant
Bharath, meanwhile, confirmed
that he has been walking about
in Warner's constituency for just
under a month.
In a telephone interview on
Friday, Bharath said Warner was
aware of his presence in the
area and even promoted it
during one of his (Warner's)
cottage meetings in the area.
Bharath refused to comment
on whether his presence in the
area was an indictment on
"I have no comment to make
on that. At the end of the day, I
am on very good terms with
every minister," Bharath said.
He also refused to comment
on speculations that he would
be contesting the internal
leadership elections which is
expected to be called sometime
"The date has not even been
set yet," he said.
When told that the Sunday
Guardian was informed that a
faction within the party
supported him for the leadership
role, he said "that is news to
He said the walkabouts were
more to gather information for
the Government as to where
and who needed assistance in
"I have been walking around
that area to assist the needy
In the last month, Bharath has
provided health support for
three children in the area,
including one needing surgery
for a cleft lip and palate.
"I am simply lobbying on their
Bharath said he did not
promote or advertise his mission
in the Chaguanas West area,
because it was not about politics
but about getting the work
"There are many needy
families in this area."
Bharath's work is akin to that
of a shadow minister. He said
there was no sinister plan to
hijack the constituency from
This is not Bharath's first quiet
constituency walkabout. He did
political walks in the St
Augustine area for almost one
year before former MP for the
area Winston Dookeran ran for
the post. Due to the desire for a
partnership, the situation was
fraught with confusion over
which party should be given
which safe seat to fight. In the
end, the COP's Dookeran got the
seat in front of Bharath.
Bharath said his weekend
walks will continue in the area.
A new group within the UNC,
which is calling itself Club 2014, is
set to take over the leadership of the
party from PM Kamla Persad-Bisses-
sar.The group, which is made up of
some key people in the UNC, has been
formed to challenge Persad-Bissessar
in the party s upcoming internal elec-
A date for the election is yet to be
The people who make up Club 2014,
sources said, have information on the
party s internal election process.
The group is being fashioned after
the now defunct Caucus for Love,
Unity and Brotherhood (Club 88),
which was established by Basdeo Pan-
In 1988, Panday, along with Kelvin
Ramnath (deceased), John Humphrey
and Trevor Sudama were expelled from
the National Alliance for Reconstruc-
tion (NAR) after a disagreement with
its leader ANR Robinson.
Sources said Panday is also a part
of Club 2014.
After severing ties with the NAR,
Panday then founded Club 88, which
later became the UNC.
...now Club 2014 formed
LeRoy Clarke, left,
and Bill Trotman
in happy embrace
on Friday at the
Division of Nalis,
birthday and book
launch in the
corner Hart and
ILP leader Jack Warner, left,
and Trade and Industry
Minister Vasant Bharath.
CULTURAL ICONS MEET
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