(Trinidad Express) There will be partying and prayers in Felicity tomorrow with the United National Congress (UNC) bringing in Indian playback singer Kumar Sanu to serenade voters whilst the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) will hold a Ramayan Yagna.
There is a total of 27,051 voters in the Chaguanas West by-election, 6,000 of whom are from Felicity.
Both parties have stepped up campaigning in the area for the past week in a bid to secure to victory in the election.
A poll commissioned by the Express and done by Solution by Simulation led by pollster Nigel Henry has put ILP interim leader Jack Warner in front.
Losing the constituency, regarded as a “UNC safe seat”, will be a major blow for the UNC Government if Warner creates history and wins it as an independent candidate.
Tomorrow, at the Pierre Road recreation grounds in Charlieville, the UNC will hold a mass public meeting at 3 p.m. with Sanu as its star performer.
ILP interim political leader Warner will host a Ramayan Yagna at the Shri Kristen Mandir in Lyle Lane Street, Felicity, from 7 p.m. The Express was told that Sanu’s usual performance fee was approximately US$25,000 plus first class travel and hotel accommodation.
Sanu arrived yesterday evening and will depart on Sunday.
A release from the UNC’s Chaguanas West campaign office stated that in addition to Sanu, a number of top local artistes will perform.
A battery of speakers will also be on stage with the feature address by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Voters will also hear from UNC candidate Khadijah Ameen.
Sanu is no stranger to Trinidad as he performed at several concerts here over the years.
However, this is the first time that he will be gracing this country’s shores to mount a political platform and belt out his hits.
The award-winning singer is billed to perform for one hour after the speeches and will be accompanied by his leading musician Somen Sankar with the support of a local band.
Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal who arranged Sanu’s visit said yesterday that a massive turnout is anticipated.
“We were very pleased that despite a very hectic schedule of recording and personal engagements, Kumar Sanu was able to fit us in,” he stated.
“We are expecting a massive crowd on Saturday to what will be a fitting closing event to our very successful campaign in which we expect to have the UNC retain the seat for Chaguanas West. Kumar Sanu’s appearance will be the crescendo to a fabulous event,” added Moonilal.
Earlier this year Sanu was in Trinidad and performed at the Chutney Brass Festival at Guaracara Park, Pointe-a-Pierre.
Promoter Randy Glasgow told the Express yesterday by phone that Sanu contacted him and told him he will be coming to Trinidad.
Questioned on Sanu’s fees, Glasgow said that not all performers, no matter how big they are, charge a fee.
“If somebody is your friend regardless of how big they are, it is not always about money,” he said, adding that once good treatment is given artistes tend to come with no cost. Asked about Sanu’s decision to perform for the first time on a political platform in this country, Glasgow said, “In the United States he would support Senators who were going up for election with East Indian roots, this is not something new to him.”
Chief executive officer of Caribbean Lifestyle Communications Ltd, Tony Maharaj, who recently flew in Indian superstars Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik to perform in Trinidad said political parties were free to bring in artistes to boost their campaigns.
“Political parties are free to campaign in any way and if they think that is going to enhance their campaign, that is something that is entirely their decision,” he said.
“My personal view, I don’t think an artiste coming to perform will help a voter in any way to make a decision as to which way he or she would vote,” he added.