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Sharma willing to remove banner
Transport Minister and Fyzabad MP Chandresh Sharma says while he did not breach any protocols in his congratulatory banner, which depicts him alongside President-elect Anthony Carmona, he is willing to remove it.
Sharma, in a telephone interview yesterday, said he was not aware the banner was drawing criticism, since it was only intended to extend congratulatory greetings to Carmona. “The argument seems to be the photo of the MP appearing on the banner is not the message. And if it seems to be the photo of the MP, that is unfortunate. I was not aware that there were criticisms. If it was something wrong then I will be the first to apologise. But no one has in authority has indicated any breach,” Sharma said.
Last week the full colour banner, which has Sharma’s photo on the left and Carmona’s photo on the right, was hung outside Sharma’s Unity Court, Fyzabad constituency office. A photo of the banner appeared exclusively in the T&T Guardian on Saturday. He assured there was no intention to politicise the President-elect. The minister said the fact that Carmona, who is originally from Fyzabad, was elected President is a “big thing for us in the constituency.”
He said when one looked at the banner his photograph was smaller than Carmona’s which he said was deliberate because of Carmona’s position as the soon-to-be Head of State.
He said it was not the first time congratulations were sent out in such a manner, but it was the first time people in Fyzabad have a President-elect which is “something to be celebrated. We believe it is a huge thing.”
Groups in the constituency, he said, had spoken about placing a banner in Fyzabad and he agreed. “There was no intent to embarrass or breach protocol. The intention was to motivate (school children) and congratulate. We really thought when we did it the whole country would do it and it signals to all that this is something new,” he added. Sharma said he was certain there would be others who would do the same by way of advertisements and if there were any protocols broken the authorities should notify him. “We will have to be guided in future. It is a learning experience,” he said.
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