By AZAD ALI
Former Attorney General Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj has been put in "cold storage" by the United National Congress (UNC), as he is trying a desperate move to make a comeback into the party.
Newly-appointed Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and former UNC chairman Basdeo Panday are reportedly behind a move to stop Maharaj from becoming a member again -- which would give him an opportunity to rise once more to the top ranks in the party, a top UNC source told TnT Mirror.
Now that Panday is heading for his political grave, Persad-Bissessar has her eyes set on becoming political leader.
She is hoping to one day become the country's first female prime minister, the source added.
The informant continued: "The top hierarchy in the UNC is divided over Maharaj's return with only Deputy Political Leader Jack Warner "scoring" for the former attorney general.
"Maharaj is still waiting for his membership to be approved, which some UNC officials say is being put on hold.
"He has blamed the long delay on the process for regaining membership."
Tongues were wagging when Maharaj was blanked for a UNC meeting in Rio Claro last Monday, after making two appearances on the party's Monday night meetings following the recent jailing of Panday for failing to declare a London bank account.
Maharaj has given an excuse that he was going to be out of the country and that was why he was not carded to speak at the Rio Claro meeting.
But when Mirror inquired from him the following day why he did not show up at the meeting, he said he was supposed to leave the country, but did not do so.
Sources say that Maharaj is getting the feeling that he is not welcome back in the party and is starting to back away.
The source said: "Since Panday resigned as Opposition Leader and chairman of the party, Warner has taken charge of the UNC.
"Political Leader Winston Dookeran has already been put in the 'doghouse'.
"To show his power and in a bid to embarrass Dookeran, when Portia Simpson-Miller was elected Prime Minister of Jamaica, Warner sent her a congratulatory message on behalf of the UNC in his capacity as deputy political leader."
The source said when Dookeran spoke to the UNC executive of a breach of protocol by Warner and usurping the function of political leader, he did not get a response.
"After Dookeran was appointed political leader six months ago, the executive had approached him to get his support for an offer by the Hindu Credit Union to rent one of the HCU's buildings as the party's headquarters in Central Trinidad for one dollar a year, which he turned down," he revealed.
"Since then, members of the executive realised that they cannot control Dookeran and have embarked on a plan to sideline him."
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