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India Prime Minister Narendra Modi

United National Congress platform speakers last night all defended Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s decision to write to India Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking for COVID-19 vaccines for Trinidad and Tobago.

Their defence came even as Persad-Bissessar was a no-show for the UNC Monday night meeting.

Members of the Government yesterday frowned on Persad-Bissesar’s move to ask Modi for the vaccines in a letter.

But speakers, including Roodal Moonilal, Wade Mark and others, all said she was right. They pointed to a television news show rating which they said showed half of the respondents favoured her move to write Modi.

Moonilal, who warned that the Water and Sewerage Authority was heading to privatisation, added, “(PM Keith) Rowley calling on (US President Joe Biden) to remove sanctions on Venezuela but he not calling on (India’s PM Narendra) Modi to give us vaccines. … but the hapless, clueless Health Minister says he can’t tell for sure when we’ll receive the first three per cent of the vaccines needed.”

Pointing out to the crowd that he was elderly, MP Rodney Charles added,” I’m 72 years, I’m at risk for the virus. I thought I’d leave Parliament in honour but under this Government, I might be leaving in a coffin… I want to live! I want to live! Gimme the vaccine!”

Arnold Ram meanwhile called on Government to say if it had identified a private operator for WASA without proper procurement practices. Ram also asked if a new company will be entering the Point Lisas Industrial Estate and if that company’s processes require 240,000 gallons of water daily.

Senator Mark called for answers on a contract between the National Gas Company and companies which he alleged were associated with Professor Ken Julien. He alleged NGC’s head is the son of a person involved with one company.

“This is one to watch,” Mark said as he also spoke of the economic situation and foreign exchange issues and challenges for T&T arising from that.