NATIONAL Security Minister Jack Warner last night defended Government's decision to build the Mon Desir segment of the Point Fortin Highway, describing hunger striker Dr Wayne Kublalsingh as a conman who was attempting to blackmail the country.
Speaking to United National Congress (UNC) supporters who attended the party's Monday night forum at the Debe High School, Warner said Kublalsingh, now in his 13th day without food of water, was eating at night.
He said Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar will not be held responsible if Kublalsingh dies.
Warner said, "They say the Prime Minister is killing Wayne Kublalsingh, but he is killing himself and he better do it quickly! Don’t feel sorry for him. Kublalsingh is trying to blackmail the country and blackmail the Prime Minister."
Warner said Kublalsingh was staying at homes in Maraval and Marabella and "eating more hearty than you".
Kublalsingh's father, Ray Kublalsingh, today refused to respond to Warner's statements.
"He is a non-entity. My family is respectable, we worked hard to achieve what we have and we are supporting my son. I heard everything he said about my son and my family and I don't even want to entertain that. I will not respond," he said.
Warner added, "Look at the people who are trying to ride the Kublalsingh bandwagon! What is their motivation? Is it that they are against the highway? Or are they there because they have some grudge against the Prime Minister? Every one of them has a political wound and they are looking for revenge. Every single one of them has an axe to grind against Kamla. Their presence, kissing Kublalsingh’s hand and patting his forehead, Verna spitting up, has nothing to do with the highway. They see him as a stepping stone for their own political agendas and aspirations."
Persad-Bissessar did not address Kublalsingh's hunger strike in her speech. Instead she told supporters about the benefits of the highway to Point Fortin. She said a meeting was held with the Highway Re Route Movement in March and a technical report was produced.