THE PRIME Minister said he knows nothing about a claim by the Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar that covid19 hampers were given to PNM supporters instead of members of Parliament.
At a meeting hosted by the Ummah TT Muslim Federation in Felicity on Sunday, Persad-Bissessar claimed that hampers which were supposed to be sent to people who suffered economic hardship as a result of covid19 were sent to PNM operatives.
Dr Rowley, speaking Monday at a media conference held at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann's, said that he heard the claim on the UNC campaign. He explained that he is a member of Parliament for a "PNM" constituency, Diego Martin West, and his involvement in hampers was half of his salary to a supermarket to buy hampers for his constituents.
"The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services had provided a small number of hampers to all MPs. All. All 41. That is my understanding. So if the UNC MPs did not give the hampers to their constituents then that is unfortunate."
Rowley explained this was done because people were going to MP offices with immediate and urgent needs. He also said there were hundreds of people being managed by the churches and that is why all religions received money to support "small as it might be."
"Everybody was on board in trying to get food to people who needed. Because we wanted to make sure that no one was left behind and that there was nobody in this country hungry because somebody didn't pay attention to them."
He said that stage had, more or less, passed and there are less people in that situation now, as many people have returned to work.
"Many people relied on these (hampers). So this thing about mixing up MP office with improper conduct, I know nothing about that."
Persad-Bissessar also said that information alleging that hampers were being sent to PNM operatives to be used to encourage people to vote for the PNM and information alleging that PNM supporters were being granted exemptions to return to TT for the August 10 general election, were in the hands of the UNC’s lawyers.
On Friday, following the opening of the Bagatelle Community Centre Rowley denied that such exemptions were being given.