Alleyne, Deyalsingh hit the road in St Joseph
By SEAN DOUGLAS Wednesday, October 16 2013
UNITED National Congress (UNC) candidate, Ian Alleyne, and People’s National Movement (PNM) candidate, Terrence Deyalsingh, yesterday started their campaigns for the November 4 St Joseph bye-election by walking in their parties respective stronghold areas, after Monday’s Nomination Day.
Newsday met Alleyne on a walkabout of Aranjuez with Environment Minister, Ganga Singh, his campaign manager. Alleyne said he got a great reception, and this was clearly seen in the warmth with which he was met by residents in their homes. Refuting his predecessor Herbert Volney’s claim that he was not qualified by profession nor residency to be the local MP, Alleyne said on the contrary, he was a proven performer and had just had a great experience in meeting residents.
Alleyne vowed to immediately start to fix things in the area such as the drains, water-supply and pavements he alleged had been neglected by Volney.
He said, “I’m going to make sure — not after election you know — bet your bottom dollar that on each street I walk, some kind of thing is going to start in a matter of days.”
Alleyne empathised with some locals who had ignored him by saying they had a right to be disenchanted, given the allegedly poor representation given to them by Volney.
“Rest assured, I’m going to turn around this seat, St Joseph,” he said. “I’m hoping to change the image of this party and make sure that whatever the people voted for they are going to get. Do not mamaguy the people. Let the other MPs start working.”
He vowed to take residents’ concerns to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, aided by his note-takers. “I came with a track-record. I’m taking this seat as a template to show that, ‘listen I can do it’.”
Singh said Alleyne had visited the St Joseph River where work has begun to alleviate flooding in North Valsayn, and he would meet Aranjuez farmers today as he walks the constituency “discussing citizens issues and local infrastructure”.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday described Alleyne as a great candidate and a front-runner for the bye-election.
She explained he was a UNC member and recently renewed a membership application which the party accepted.
“He was on our membership list but I cannot say the date, it was far before now. In 2010 he was screened as a UNC candidate. I believe that he has filled up another membership form, so his membership is not in question. Mr Alleyne had been with the party previously,” Persad-Bissessar told reporters during a function at her Siparia constituency office.
Responding to questions about the Crime Watch television host being labelled a “sellout”, Persad-Bissessar said there was no buying out of anyone whether at the local or at the bye- election level.
She scoffed at remarks that Alleyne was given $250 to appear at a recent political meeting. “No buyout took place whatsoever...If he was paid $250 to appear on a platform, that is very cheap... He is a capable person, very eloquent,” she said.
The PNM’s Deyalsingh was also on walkabouts yesterday, saying not only was he campaigning for himself but for the party’s candidates in next Monday’s local election as well.
“Right now our campaign is in parallel with the local government campaign. I’ll walk together with the different local government candidates, and next week I’ll walk on my own.
Yesterday, he supported PNM local candidate Britt Carmino on a walkabout at Quarry Road, off Mendez Drive, Champs Fleurs, followed by a cottage meeting.
“The response has been very positive. We came across some of the infrastructure problems that need to be fixed, so we’ll be addressing those once we are back in office,” said Deyalsingh.
With Carmino pledging to return the area to its former pristine glory, Deyalsingh added, “It is to the residents’ benefit to have their MP and their councillor from the same party. That way we could get things done faster and better, and we could coordinate, as opposed to councillors switching sides between UNC and ILP and COP. We want a stable regional corporation and a stable Member of Parliament.”
Asked of his plan to woo voters, Deyalsingh replied, “I do have a plan but would not reveal it in a press interview. We have a strategy that we’ll role out from next week Tuesday.”