PORT OF SPAIN — Public Utilities Minister Nizam Baksh yesterday cautioned Chaguanas West constituents against voting for his former colleague Jack Warner, saying they should vote for UNC candidate Khadijah Ameen in the July 29 by-election in order to get continued support from the government.
Speaking at his Princes Town constituency office, he said although Warner, the former MP and now Independent Labour Party leader, had done a lot for the constituency, it was done through the People’s Partnership Government.
He said Warner would not be able to produce the same kind of results if he were an opposition MP.
“On the walkabout that we’re doing, we are getting that vibes. Yes, they (constituents) had a concern and they felt Mr Warner did a lot, but he could have only done it as a member of the Government,” Baksh said.
“I can’t see him doing it in opposition. And therefore we are saying people should support Khadijah Ameen so that they will remain in Government and continue to receive what they have received in the past.”
Asked if People’s National Movement constituencies did not get much support from the Government, Baksh said: “I can tell you that when I was in opposition, it did not flow as good. You have to make representation.”
Ironically, Baksh’s comment differed from what Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and other ministers have been telling supporters during canvassing in Chaguanas.
During the UNC’s Monday Night Forum, the PM said Warner had been given $232 million under the PURE programme for infrastructure works alone for the constituency. However, she lamented that roads and drains in Chaguanas West remained in a dilapidated condition.
And yesterday, Works and Local Government Minister Suruj Rambachan claimed Warner sought to help more than 300 people from PNM-controlled areas get Housing Development Corporation houses, but only got 21 for families from Chaguanas West.
“This is the same man who is talking about proper representation,” Rambachan said, adding Chaguanas West had been neglected under Warner. (Guardian)