Saturday 11th February, 2006

 

Panday clips Robin’s wings

 
 
 
 
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By Gail Alexander

Sacked UNC Senator Robin Montano believes Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday fired him because he moved a motion in a party forum opposing Ramesh Maharaj’s return to the party.

But Montano said he remains a UNC member and won’t leave before the “twin hydra-headed monster of leadership” in the party is settled.

“This cannot be allowed to continue for very much longer and things haven’t played themselves out yet, so to leave now would be premature.

“But if the party doesn’t adhere to its political policies, I will leave,” Montano said.

Montano said political leader Winston Dookeran was shocked and knew nothing of his removal until he told him.

Panday remained mum yesterday, but said he had notified the President of Montano’s removal and his replacement.

It is understood that CEO Tim Gopeesingh may replace Montano in the Senate on Tuesday.

However, a party source said it was likely a permanent replacement for Montano will eventually be Maharaj.

“It’s a classic Panday play,” said the source.

Montano told the press he learned of his removal at 12.30 pm yesterday, when he attended after a meeting at the Opposition Leader’s office with Tobago tourism officials.

He said Panday gave no reason.

“After the meeting Mr Panday said he wanted to see me. We went into his office.

“He said, ‘Sit down.’ I sat.

“He said, ‘I’m revoking your appointment as a senator.’

“I said, ‘Anything else?’

“He said, ‘No, that’s it.’

“I said, ‘Thank you very much.’ and I left.”

Asked if he felt Maharaj would replace him in Senate, Montano replied, “Your guess is as good as mine... what do you think?”

He said he was a bit surprised, since Panday was a man who talks of unity.

But Montano said he would not accept that a small clique had any right “to bring back a man like Maharaj who caused such damage”

“This is a man who caused Mr Panday to face serious criminal charges,” he said.

“I know a senior UNC minister gave the PNM details of Mr Panday’s London bank account which had been the basis of Mr Panday’s problems and it wasn’t Trevor (Sudama) or Ralph( Maraj). So guess who it was!

“A year ago I made statement about Ramesh returning and Mr Panday supported me on it.

“All of a sudden now Ramesh is coming back and there’s no consultation with the congress which removed him.”

Montano said he felt Dookeran should have been consulted on his removal, although the Opposition Leader appoints senators.

©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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