Tuesday, February 20, 2018

‘Express’ writer takes to PNM platform

‘Anti-nonsense’ Rambharat pushed to speak out over LifeSport programme


‘in no one’s pockets’: Attorney Clarence Rambharat, right, and PNM political leader Dr Keith Rowley chat at the party’s meeting on Tuesday night at Massy Stores car park, St Augustine. —Photo: ISHMAEL SALANDY


Express columnist Clarence Rambharat is the “newest arri­val” to walk through the “open doors of the PNM”, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has said.

But as he mounted the platform at the party’s political meeting on Tuesday night, at Massy Stores car park in St Augustine, Rambharat said he was merely making his “debut in town”.

He said he had spoken on the People’s National Movement (PNM) platform in 2002 and 2007, in support of candidates from the South/Central area.

Noting he was from Maya­ro, Rambharat said: “Every country boy likes to make his way into town.”

Rambharat also announced to all those par­ty groups in the Maya­ro area who had approached him on

Tuesday afternoon, ask­ing him to accept a nomination to run as a candidate for the Rio Claro/Mayaro constituency that he would be prepared to accept such a nomination and should the PNM screening committee accept him, he would be ready to serve as a candidate.

Rambharat said the LifeSport programme was the tipping point for him, which pushed his conversion from columnist to platform spea­ker.

He said he knew a lot of people—“trolls, avatars and real people”—would be discussing his move.

“Let me tell you some-

thing, I am my own boss. When Anand Ramlogan wrote in the Guardian and then decided to join the COP (Congress of the People) platform, he didn’t ask my permission. Worse than that, when Herbert Volney was screened while he was on the bench and skid off the bench and landed in the constituency of St Joseph, they didn’t ask my permission. I am in nobody’s back pocket, side pocket or front pocket. I know why I am here and these are unprece­dented times,” he said.

Rambharat said he was anti-nonsense, anti-wastage, anti-slackness and whichever party is in government, he would remain this way.

He said he was familiar with grass cutting and knew the large plot opposite The University of the West Indies (UWI) administration building cost $800 a cut. He said Anil Roberts, however, (via LifeSport) was paying $200,000 per cut.

Rambharat said a lot of people advised him to run as an independent but, “I don’t take basket”. He also dismissed the option of running as part of a third party because “I not stupid”.

“In 2015, or whenever they call it, this (elec­-

tion) is a two-party race,” he said. He added in poli-

­tics, silence was consent and, therefore, he decided to speak.

“There are people out there who are afraid to talk and I will talk for them,” he said.