Dr Randy Persaud in his letter, ‘Stabroek News applies its policy selectively,’ (SN, September 28), plunged headlong into shallow, rocky waters when he strongly opined, “Dr Jagan would never join an alliance with a party that had rigged an election against its own members.” I refer Dr Persaud to two books: Dr Baytoram’s, Against the Grain: Balram Singh Rai and the Politics of Guyana, and Halim Majeed’s, Forbes Burnham National Reconciliation and National Unity 1984-1985.
In chapter 13 of the first book Dr Persaud would find details of how Janet Jagan declared the 1959 PPP elections “null and void” after Balram Singh Rai had won the chairmanship and how she expelled some of Rai’s supporters on grounds of racialism. Ms and Dr Jagan were also instrumental in rigging the PPP’s 1962 elections to deny Rai chairmanship of the party by padding the voters list with 100 non-eligible members of the PYO and WPO. These extras were personally supervised by Ms Jagan and another in how they marked their ballots. In addition Mr Benn who was the Jagan’s anointed chairman was also the elections officer.
The second book is replete with documentation of the secret power-sharing talks that Dr Jagan’s PPP had with Burnham’s PNC in 1984-1985, a mere few years after the assassination of Dr Walter Rodney and the execution of nearly a score of WPA second tier leaders. The two named PPP emissaries were Feroze Mohamed and Clement Rohee. To date neither of them has denied the contents of Majeed’s book. The plan was to turn Guyana into a one-party communist state modelled after Cuba. Fortunately for Guyana when Mr Hoyte ascended to the presidency he reportedly said, “Enough of this socialist nonsense,” and ended the deal.
Dr Persaud should note that during the talks not once did the PPP ask for the ban on flour, dhal, and aloo to be lifted. Instead the party sought concessions to import vehicles from the USSR. Not once did the PPP ask for discrimination against Indians to cease. It sought jobs for PPP members. Tell me, if Dr Persaud is so enamoured with Dr Jagan how come he emigrated to capitalist USA and not communist USSR? Would he now like to live in Cuba or North Korea, the last toeholds of socialism? Well this is what the Jagans wanted for Guyana.