INSTEAD of trying to fight Kamla Persad-Bissessar for leadership of the (UNC), Vasant Bharath should understand how lucky he is still to be a member of the party.
Opposition Senator Wade Mark said Bharath is a failed politician, having been unsuccessful in his attempts in 2017, 2018, 2019 to form alternative parties and in 2020 supported former UNC colleague now turned PNM Winston “Gypsy” Peters in his bid for the Moruga seat.
“Boy, you must be grateful to Kamla for still having you as a member of this party,” Mark said from a virtual platform on Monday night.
He lashed out at Bharath on his position on the proposed property tax, calling him a "modern-day hypocrite.”
Mark said Bharath signed on to the implementation of the property tax as a member of the Cabinet-appointed road map committee to economic recovery yet in his political campaign is now claiming it to be a harsh and oppressive measure.
He read excerpts from the roadmap report in which he quoted Bharath as recommending the implementation of this tax and effective widening of the tax net to provide more equitable and effective methods of tax collection that would bring $1.5 billion immediately to the Treasury.
Mark said, as a member of the UNC who is seeking to lead the party, that position is contrary to its thinking.
Yet, Mark said, in Bharath's campaign for leadership, streamed live on social and mainstream media, “he goes on public television crying crocodile tears and saying he is against property tax.
“I listened in astonishment and amazement to Vasant telling the country the property tax is so oppressive and we have to do something about removing it.”
“Our party is against the implementation of the property tax. We said if we were given a mandate in the August general election, we would have repealed it.”
In an immediate response, Bharath wrote a letter to Persad-Bissessar recommending that in trying to “buss a mark,” colleagues ought to do a little research to get their facts right.
He presented a copy of a 2017 flyer which outlined ten facts about the "tax on your back" to demonstrate he has not wavered from his position. Bharath said the flyers were widely circulated
He described the proposed property tax as an oppressive, abusive, overbearing, Mugabe tax, calling for its withdrawal. He said that position still holds.
Bharath is the lone contender challenging Opposition and party Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar in the party’s December 6 internal elections.
He again called for a meeting with Persad-Bissessar for a united approach in defeating the property tax. He also called for clean and credible internal elections and for the benefit of the party and the country.
Most of the elected MP’s and platform speakers have endorsed the incumbent.
Mark said he would make it his duty to mobilise and organise members throughout the country to ensure Persad-Bissessar receives an overwhelming mandate.