People's National Movement (PNM) chairman Franklin Khan is accusing former Senate president Danny Montano of committing "PNM political treason" and has said he could face the party's discipline committee.Khan took to task his opponent for the chairman's post in the upcoming PNM internal elections for his comments questioning Keith Rowley's capability to lead the party and the country.Montano is contesting the election on the Pennelope Beckles-Robinson slate.
Speaking during Team Rowley's campaign meeting at Fifth Company Baptist School, Moruga, on Tuesday night, Khan said Montano had destroyed "whatever little" chance he had to defeat him.Referring to a newspaper headline "Montano: don't vote for the PNM under Rowley," he said: "My work done."He asked: "How can somebody contesting the position of head of the executive of the People's National Movement make such a statement?
He added: "It is the chairman who chairs the general council meeting. it is the chairman who leads the executive."It is the chairman who heads the central executive. The chairman works closely with the overall boss who is the political leader in planning strategies and programmes for the party and you wanting the position to be chairman and say, 'if Dr Keith Rowley wins, don't vote for the People's National Movement'.
"You know we all in the PNM do not like the attorney general but this time I will say that statement is PNM political treason. "After this election I personally will seriously contemplate writing the general secretary to bring him before the disciplinary committee because he has brought the party into disrepute and the constitution is clear on that."Saying he was being brutally honest, Khan claimed there was a small minority in the PNM who were Rowley-haters.
Recalling Montano's remarks he has never been involved in grassroot politics and was never an activist, he questioned now Montano could possibly want to become the party's chairman.He also questioned the veracity of Montano's claim that his father, PNM minister Gerard Montano, had locked up Beckles' father on Bloody Tuesday in 1972.
Saying that he remaineda loyal member of the PNM, Danny Montano said the newspaper headline drew an erroneous conclusion. He said in a statement yesterday: "What the reporter failed to get from my discourse with him is that from the outset Penny Beckles-Robinson's position was that this internal election was about who would form the next government of T&T.
"My point was, and is, that if the PNM were to win the general election in 2015, why would the membership of the PNM wish to put in a leadership that has demonstrated, in an important matter, such as this internal election, either incompetence or an improper motive, when there is a more viable and better alternative to the leadership of the party and hence the country.
"I remain, until the present leadership might have his way in trying to silence me, a loyal member of the People's National Movement, committed to the core fundamental principles of the PNM and of my father and Dr Eric Williams from 1956. "The party deserves better than what it has and Penny Beckles-Robinson is waiting to serve in the true and tried traditions of the PNM, where integrity, honesty, openness and a place for all are core virtues," he added.