UNC political leader candidate Vasant Bharath at yesterday's news conference.

UNC leadership contender Vasant Bharath has called out his opponent – incumbent leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar on attacks launched against him at UNC’s meeting on Monday

At the meeting, Senator Wade Mark accused Bharath of aiding the PNM’s Roadmap to Recovery statements on the property tax, then “coming home” to UNC after the PNM and after failing to form a political party. Mark said Bharath should be grateful he was still in UNC and said he would mobilise and organize Persad-Bissessar’s leadership bid.

In a letter to Persad-Bissessar yesterday Bharath said: “I wish to recommend that in trying to ‘buss a mark’, colleagues opposite ought to do a little research, as to get the facts correct. Attached is my flyer from 2017 which I personally shared along with my wife Arvinder, on the streets of Chaguanas, Port-of-Spain and in our various farmer’s markets.

“Our party leadership owes our supporters an explanation on its 2017 position, as then told to me by more than one MP, if ‘they vote for that, let them take it’. This mindset was and remains, in my view both disturbing and distasteful, something we should never condone.

“Again Mrs Bissessar, I suggest we meet to ensure a clean and credible internal election, with added discussions for a united approach in defeating the property tax. The effecting of such discussion can not only positively impact our party, but be to the great benefit of our country. “

New deputy on Kamla’s slate

Persad-Bissessar hasn’t responded to Bharath’s previous letter calling for a meeting to discuss the conduct of their campaign and election issues which Bharath has raised.

At Monday’s UNC meeting Persad-Bissessar told the audience she had filed nomination papers for the leadership post and more would be heard on the issue later. Her slate includes:

• ↓MP Lackram Bodoe (deputy leader)

• ↓Jearlean John (deputy leader)

• ↓David Lee (deputy leader)

• ↓Dave Tancoo (chairman)

• ↓Kadijah Ameen (deputy chairman),

• ↓Sean Sobers (Policy/Strategy)

• ↓Neil Gosine

• ↓William Archie

• ↓Clifton De Coteau

• ↓Monifa Andrews

Bharath’s slate will be announced at a meeting today.

Opposition activist Devant Maharaj, who withdrew from contesting the leadership and has given the election team seven days to respond to his election issue concerns, voiced concern about the use of UNC forums as campaigning platform for the Persad-Bissessar camp.

“The domestic abuse of UNC resources and constitution continues to be ignored by the election team,” Maharaj said.

Head of the election team Ramesh Persad-Maharaj said he couldn’t comment on Maharaj’s issue at this point.