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Prakash: I am not spineless

By COREY CONNELLY Monday, July 7 2014

Congress of the People (COP) political leader Prakash Ramadhar says he is not a sell-out nor is he a spineless leader.

Responding to criticisms about his leadership, via the social media, Ramadhar heaped scorn on his detractors.

“Who have described me as spineless, enemies of the Partnership?” he asked reporters in Tunapuna, on Saturday, during the re-launch of the COP’s Street Talk series.

“There are snipers who are anonymous persons whose ambition is really to destroy the COP and one way to destroy an organisation is to attack its leader and demonise the leader and call him weak and spineless and everything else, it is easy for that propoganda to spread,” Ramadhar said.

Ramadhar, who retained the leadership of the COP in its internal election last Sunday, said one of the party’s biggest shortcomings was its failure to unearth the source of malicious social media entries.

“Anyone who has known me from a child up until today has known that I have always stood strong on issues, not being the rabble-rousing sort of politician to make noise and quarrel but to bring results-oriented efforts and therefore, the results matter, strong diplomacy and sometimes just to stand up and say ‘We are not going to accept this,’ which we (COP) have done in the politics,” he said.

Accompanied by COP vice chairman Nicole Dyer-Griffith, deputy leader Anna Maria Mora and several activists and supporters, Ramadhar said the COP has stood strongly on several issues in the public space.

“It has not been an easy task but to arrive at where we are in the face of the many criticisms does not take a spineless person. It takes someone with testicular fortitude.”

Ramadhar said the COP had a critical role to play within the Partnership, ahead of next year’s general election.

“We have very little time to do a lot of things...the supporters of the PNM are across the length and breadth of this nation. We are an ideas-based party, we are an activist party,” he said.

“We have no time for wet blankets. It takes sweat and hard work to reconnect with the supporters of the COP. We have done it and we can do it again.”

Asked about the resignation of deputy leader, Dr Lincoln Douglas, who had also contested the leadership of the COP, Ramadhar said, “He did the honourable thing to resign.”

However, he said there was a possibility that Douglas, the Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism could be re-chosen.

I have not taken that decision as yet. I have not had the opportunity to speak one to one with Lincoln,” he said.

“I have a very dear relationship with him, notwithstanding the campaign and that is what I am so proud of the party for.....Things may have been said, yes, but we did not cross the line. No bridges were burnt.”

Saying that the party was now looking forward to its national executive elections later this year, Dyer-Griffith noted that the party’s secretary for field operations, national boxer Kirt Sinette had resigned.

Dyer-Griffith said she had seen the resignation online and immediately contacted the party’s general secretary seeking clarification. She thanked Sinette for his contribution to the COP.

Meanwhile, Ramadhar and colleagues received a mixed reception from vendors and residents at the Tunapuna market.

“Prakash only trying to mamaguy we,” one elderly man said.

“Prakash dead in St Augustine. He have to look for somewhere else to go.”

Another man shouted, “Regardless of who is in power, black people have to work hard and dead.”

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