MICKELA Panday said she will not be daunted by the refusal of United National Congress (UNC) political leader Kamla Persad -Bissessar to meet with her. Last week, Barataria MP Dr Fuad Khan called on all former high profile members of the party to return.
In a media release yesterday, Panday – the daughter of UNC founder Basdeo Panday – said she was told by Khan on Friday that he spoke with Persad-Bissessar, “regarding whether she would be willing to meet with various members of the party including myself, in the interest of uniting the party and, during that conversation, Mrs Persad-Bissessar stated unequivocally that she is unwilling to meet with me, or certain other members.”
The young attorney said Khan also told her the reason given for the refusal “is that the political leader is unhappy with what she perceives to be her criticisms of the UNC in her newspaper column.
Panday declared, if that is the reason Persad–Bissessar chose not to meet with her or those other members, “it is truly unfortunate for democracy and for freedom of speech within the party as, in effect, the political leader is saying those within the party who choose to speak out against, what they believe to be, wrongdoing will be excluded.”
She insisted that calling for transparency and accountability is not tantamount to criticising the party. She said general elections are constitutionally due in two years’ time and she intends to continue to meet with those who are willing to put country before self to improve the lives of all the people of TT.