Wednesday 11 December, 2019

Kamla steering clear of tit for tat with Sat Maharaj

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has responded to comments made by General Secretary of the Maha Sabha, Sat Maharaj, who launched a scathing attack against her after she publicly announced her support for Nafisah Nakhid.

Nakhid, an on-the-job (OJT) trainee was asked to leave the compound of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha-run Lakshmi Girls' Hindu College because she wore a hijab – a religious head covering.

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On Friday, Maharaj said the Opposition Leader was uninvited from the organisation’s upcoming Indian Arrival Day celebrations and warned that she “will pay hell of a price.”

The General Secretary of the Maha Sabha also made a political call to members of the Hindu community, advising them that they no longer have to vote along ethnic lines.

Speaking with reporters following a service to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Presbyterian Church at the St. Joseph’s Presbyterian Church on Sunday, the Opposition Leader said she will not get in a tit for tat with Maharaj.

“He has his constitutional rights and freedom of expression. I take all of it in stride,”

Persad-Bissessar was asked if she surprised that she was uninvited from the upcoming SDMS event.

“When you get to my age, nothing surprises you anymore,” she responded.

Also responding to statements by Maharaj about freeing the ‘Hindu vote,” the Opposition Leader said everyone in T&T is entitled to vote for issues.

Earlier, while addressing the congregation at the St. Joseph Presbyterian Church on Sunday, the Opposition Leader said she will continue to preach the right for every citizen to be afforded their constitutional guaranteed rights to freedom of religious worship.

This, as she said she does not run a religious organisation.

“Let me say to you here today that I do not lead a religious flock. So for me, a leader of a national political party, the former Prime Minister, the Opposition Leader, the former Attorney General, a lawyer by profession, a woman who endured and continues to endure some of the most vile, misogynist abuses out, and a woman who has made her life’s mission that of the betterment and educational progress of our nation’s people and especially our women and girls, I will always preach the right of each and every person in this country to be afforded their Constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of religious worship and the right to do so with dignity,” Persad-Bissessar told the congregation.

 

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