Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley addresses a public meeting in La Horquetta last night.

Chester Sambrano

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has alleged that the United National Congress (UNC) is attempting to buy votes in La Horquetta/Talparo using old $100 bills.

In December last year, the Government announced the demonetisation of the $100 bills to a new polymer note.

At the time, National Security Minister Stuart Young said it was in an effort to combat money laundering other related crimes.

Speaking at a political meeting in La Horquetta last evening Dr Rowley claimed that some of that old money was being used to woo voters in the marginal constituency.

“And of course old money that Central Bank don’t want, that you can’t carry to the bank they giving you that too and telling you to vote them into office and when they win they will change the money for you,” the Prime Minister said.

He said that is their offering to the development to the people of La Horquetta and urged residents to reject it “that foolishness.”

“Use that vote sensibly and wisely,” he added.

He compared the offering of UNC candidate Jearlean John to the PNM’s. “So while they are offering you patchoi and old $100 bills that cannot be legal tender, Foster Cummings is offering a library,” he said.

Cummings is the UNC candidate for the constituency.

The Prime Minister instead promised a renewed push in agriculture for the area, particularly among the younger people in the community.

He said once elected a new PNM government will allocate $500 million for agriculture.

“As soon as the election is over we go straight into preparing the budget and in that budget will have an allocation of $500 million for agricultural efforts.”

In the 2019/2020 fiscal package government allocated $708 million to agriculture.

He explained that this will assist greatly with this country’s food import bill.

“Grow what you eat and eat what you grow and you will never starve,” he said.

The PNM is defending the constituency, having won in 2015 with 10,428 votes with then-candidate Maxie Cuffie who defeated the UNC’s Jairam Seemungal, who got 7,606 votes.

Cuffie, who suffered a stroke while in office, announced earlier this year that he would not contest the seat in the upcoming election.