MP Singh’s behavior least exemplary

 MP Singh’s behavior least exemplary
Photo : Ganga Singh

I read with interest an article “Singh: Kamla elections stand a gift for the PNM” by Shaliza Hassanali on Monday January 28, 2019 in your Guardian Newspaper.

MP Ganga Singh argues that by taking a decision to fight the election alone Kamla will be making a gift to the government to the PNM. I wish to refute that argument. Was the PP not a coalition in 2015? And if they were, then Singh needs to explain why the PP failed to form government. MP Singh should explain why the COP within the PP coalition did not win a single seat in 2015. Maybe he should ask Vasan Bharath to do a post-mortem on the UNC’s defeat in St Joseph, San Fernando West and the other marginals.

MP Singh also said that in a binary political system with the UNC versus the PNM, the latter is always going to win. I would like to ask MP Singh what would happen should the floating non-PNM votes rally with the UNC? Is MP Singh saying that the UNC is not good enough for the so-called coalition warlords to join with the UNC to fight the PNM?

Why the need for a coalition to fight the PNM? It is becoming clearer to me that as a coalition the warlords would have advantage to bargain for safe UNC seats. MP Singh said that for the UNC to stand alone only demonstrates a return to tribal politics. MP Singh added: “Geographically, the UNC is confined to South of the Caroni.” MP Singh went on to question: “Is the UNC back to its Indian base?” and went on to question the ethnic composition of the crowd at last Sunday’s rally at Couva.

Photo : Kamla Persad Bissessar

I am convinced that the sole reason why MP Singh wants a coalition is for political opportunists to negotiate for safe seats in the tribal belt. Singh never had the courage to fight a seat outside the UNC heartland. In 1995 he was elected MP for Caroni East and in 2015 he returned to Parliament as MP for Chaguanas West. If MP Singh is truly concerned about the UNC breaking out of its ethnic belt then he should have opted for a seat in the East West Corridor.

MP Singh should be the last to speak for the UNC. In 2007 MP Singh was part of the COP brigade. Why MP Singh did not fight a seat then? Is it that he had doubts about the COP’s electoral victory? Even Prakash Ramadhar of the COP was given St Augustine, a safe tribal seat. As for Vasan Bharath he must explain to the UNC members why he did not win the St Joseph constituency for the UNC. Is it true that the UNC got less votes in the polling stations in the three Bamboos and Bangladesh. I heard Sat Maharaj making the charge that “Vasan did not go out to meet the people. Instead, he sat in his office waiting for the people to come to him.”

I guess that Basdeo Panday is offering an option. His daughter Mikela is launching a political party and he has pledged his support to her. MP Singh needs to take big risks and stop betting on favorites. Basdeo Panday is demonstrating that he has courage to face the polls and lose. Politics, Panday knows, is not beggary but an arena for manliness. MP Singh has not learned anything from Basdeo Panday. Had he learned he would not be pleading and begging.

The behavior of MP Singh is least exemplary. He should be grateful for the goodies he received from Kamla because on his own he cannot win anything. Instead, he is desperately working to undermine the party that shelters him. Such attitude undermines the strength of the party and create doubts in the minds of floating voters. MP Singh is like drunk on a work site posing a serious threat to the health and safety of the UNC. The political leader has a duty to move him away from the work site and have him quarantined.