Party official appeals for Panday-Maharaj healing
'Oma killing the UNC'
A SENIOR official of the United National Congress (UNC) is blaming Oma Panday, wife of the UNC's political leader, Basdeo Panday, for the sagging fortunes of the political party.
And he is pleading with Oma to allow the party to resolve its internal issues by stepping down now.
"The problem with the UNC is not Ramesh (Maharaj) and Trevor (Sudama)," he declared, angrily, on Friday.
"They are secondary; the problem is Panday's wife," the UNC insider, who spoke to Sunday Mirror on condition of anonymity, explained.
Mr. and Mrs. PANDAY in happier times.
"But how do you tell a man that his wife is the problem?" he asked.
"Oma is running the show, so anything that has to get to Panday, must get by her first.
"That was the way things got done when she was Mrs. Prime Minister.
"She develop her own centres of gravity, and her own pockets of influence.
"During her reign, she had people fighting to buy her (airline) tickets.
"No one could benefit from any State largesse, get on a State Board, or be in any position of influence with Basdeo Panday, unless you had the blessings of Oma Panday.
"But the dynamic has changed, the UNC is no longer the government, and she has no political value.
"Oma does not bring anything politically to the UNC, but she is sitting on every head table.
"You can't get a word in with Bas without her, next to him, listening to everything.
"This, is destroying the party.
"Unless she is prepared to step down, the UNC is going to destroy itself," he continued.
"The reality is that time is running out, and the party is floundering.
"On the other hand, the PNM, a party devoid of style and vision, and characterised by weak leadership, is slaughtering us in the marginal constituencies, and the PNM is even making serious in roads in traditional UNC strongholds.
"(UNC) Supporters are leaving the party in droves, and still no one can get a word in with the political leader because he is only listening to his wife.
"And, worse, she is not a politician, or a political force, and should not be advising him on political matters.
"In fact, her influence should be confined to the bedroom."
The senior UNC official is also urging the UNC's political leader to show some statesmanship and end the conflict with former Attorney General, Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, and his (Panday's) long time political comrade, Trevor Sudama.
"Panday is the power behind the UNC. Without him the party will collapse," the insider noted.
"Ramesh is a commodity that can be managed, so he can use him as a means to an end.
"The issue of deputy political leader should not come into the equation, as Ramesh will stand or fall on his own political strength.
"Basdeo should not be concerned with that at all; just let the chips fall where they may.
"He (Basdeo) has to eat humble pie ... he just don't have to let anyone see how much he is chewing.
"I think he has the intelligence to realise that the UNC must return to its glory days, when the party had an air of invincibility.
"But the wives, all of them, will have to stay in the background.
"It was Oma who started the squabble between Bas and Ramesh.
"That was after Lynette Maharaj waded into Oma at a graduation ceremony at Naparima Girls.
"Oma never forgave her for that, but Lynette was really raising an alarm, and the party's inner sanctum should have taken note.
"Instead, everyone ignored the danger signs.
"Political wives must understand and appreciate that their places are behind their husbands, not next to them.
"If you are a politician, and you have a wife that is 'frontish', there is the potential for disaster.
"Panday is a classic example."
The UNC informant is forecasting gains for the PNM in tomorrow's Local Government election, but he is convinced that the UNC is the better political option to run the country.
He concluded: "The UNC can return, as the PNM was lost, and still the party was able to regroup.
"I think we can do the same thing, but there has to be changes.
"The first is for Oma Panday to stay home and let the party heal."
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