FORMER UNC MP Vasant Bharath joined his former parliamentary colleagues Dr Fuad Khan and Ramona Ramdial in dismissing Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar's latest olive branch offering as being without substance.
At the UNC's congress in Couva on January 29, Persad-Bissessar said she was extending an olive branch to dissidents in the party and to smaller political parties to unite with the UNC against the PNM.
Before last July's UNC internal elections, Persad-Bissessar had publicly dismissed any thought of an alliance between the UNC and any other political party. After those elections, Persad-Bissessar said she was open to working with other political parties.
Khan and Ramdial had a motion which called for greater unity in the UNC and including former members in efforts to strengthen the party rejected by UNC general secretary Peter Kanhai, on behalf of the UNC's leadership. Kanhai claimed that Persad-Bissessar and the UNC's leadership were already doing the things Khan and Ramdial were calling for.
Bharath did not believe that any other political party wants to join the UNC in its current state, "as their supporters would find that abhorrent and unacceptable.
He said Persad-Bissessar's track record at forging enduring political alliances is abysmal.
"Mrs Bissessar’s track record with such arrangements is not something to be proud of."
Bharath also recalled that when the now defunct UNC-led People's Partnership (PP) coalition lost the September 7, 2015 general election to the PNM, Persad-Bissessar took no responsibility for the PP's premature breakup and there was no analysis done as to why that happened.
"As a result the population is sick and tired of political liaisons of convenience."
On Wednesday, Khan said, "Leopards cant change their spots. Snakes shed skin but are still snakes and that olive branch have plenty picker."
The olive branch to sidelined members is just ole talk because she has said this on previous occasions but there has been no accomodation of us from the leadership"
She recalled that Khan and herself "extended an olive branch (to Persad-Bissessar) since 2020 and there has been no engagement of us so we are really not fooled by this call.
Ramdial claimed the state of affairs in the UNC is one with "MPs,Senators, councillors running scared."
She reiterated her view that Persad-Bissessar and her loyalists do not want real unity in the UNC because they are afraid of losing control of the party.
Ramdial challenged Persad-Bissessar to prove she is sincere about real political unity on this occasion.
"The leadership should meet with all of us to see how best we can fit in to move the party forward."
As a UNC life member, Ramdial said, " I am willing and able to serve in many capacities to rebuild the party."
In a statement, Alexander rejected Persad-Bissessar's call for a political alliance.
He said her call for unity demonstrates how out of touch with reality that she is.
"She could feel like Hulk but in truth her leadership is a bunch of weak men and women that the PNM has been allowed to bully and get their way with every time."
Alexander said,"There can be no unity with someone who is too disconnected to understand the feelings of the country. It is either she is delusional or surrounded by people talented enough that they can convince her that the UNC still commands the authority of those opposed."
Alexander claimed that the PNM and UNC are responsible for everything that is wrong in TT today
“No thanks Kamla. On behalf of the growing mass of disenchanted citizens of every creed and race fed up of the politics of race and division who want a better country, the PEP says no thanks.”
National Transformation Alliance (NTA) political leader Gary Griffith said, ""No comment at this time."
A former commissioner of police (CoP), Griffith served as Persad-Bissessar's national security adviser and later as national security minister in the former UNC-led People's Partnership (PP) coalition between June 2010 and September 7, 2015.