The People’s National Movement (PNM) is readying itself to take control of the Chaguanas East constituency and has promised not to hold back on efforts to increase the party’s support base in that area.
Expressing confidence in the party expanding its visibility through the selected candidate in Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday said he was satisfied they would be successful in the effort.
Responding to brief questions as he formally opened the PNM’s newest constituency office at Lendore Village, Enterprise, Rowley confirmed Rambharat had been successfully screened and would be leading the party’s outreach in Central.
Painted in the PNM’s signature colour, the spanking new premises at the corner of Chrissie Terrace and Southern Main Road also doubled as the site of the PNM’s general council meeting, which is usually held at Balisier House, Port-of-Spain, monthly.
Although yesterday’s gathering included top members of the Cabinet, notably absent was embattled Port-of-Spain South MP Marlene McDonald.
The Chaguanas East seat is currently held by the United National Congress’ Fazal Karim.
Delivering brief remarks minutes after the ceremonial ribbon cutting, Rowley said history was created, as it was the first time the PNM had established a home in the Central district and that the general council meeting had been held outside the party’s headquarters.
“We are strengthening our position here and we intend to be here for a very very long time as we intend to be in T&T for a very long time,” Rowley said.
Confirming the party had embarked on an expansion exercise to grow its operational base, the PM added: “We are still proud of our record that we have contested every election, every seat, in every part of T&T because we are truly a national party.”
Endorsing Rambharat as the PNM’s “standard-bearer in Chaguanas East,” Rowley said he was confident Rambharat could handle both the ministerial portfolio and this latest outreach effort.
Offering a quick insight into how he intended to attract new members in Chaguanas East, Rambharat offered: “I have been here before when I worked with the PNM in Chaguanas and now I am back here. I am very familiar with the area and we have work to do.
“This is a beautiful community and the PNM wants to grow further in Central Trinidad.”
Indicating he had the support of long-standing PNM members and a top executive team supporting him, Rambharat said: “The PNM has been contributing via Central Trinidad and the effort now is to grow and strengthen ourselves in this part of the country.”
Pressed to say how the PNM intended to get a foothold in the seat traditionally held by the UNC, Rambharat replied: “There were a lot of places in this country that the PNM had not been strong, but the PNM has grown stronger and we will grow stronger in Central Trinidad.
“Support is there, we have always had support here. We have been here on the ground for a few months now especially getting our headquarters ready and we know there is support. We know there is tremendous love for the PNM and we intend to harness that support.”