PPP General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday denied that there is a power struggle underway in the opposition party.
In comments his party released, Jagdeo, also Opposition Leader, said “There is no power struggle between our comrades. Our Party welcomes all persons, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or any other differentiating factor, to join us. We value our members and their contributions to the Party and, by extension, to Guyana. I also believe strongly that as we move forward, some of our more experienced comrades have a larger role to play in grooming younger members to take up the leadership mantel. We cannot prepare for the future otherwise”.
The question of internal bickering in the PPP arose after Jagdeo openly clashed with senior PPP member and General Secretary of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), Komal Chand. Jagdeo appeared to be miffed by a decision by Chand to attend a meeting at the Ministry of the Presidency on the future of the sugar industry.
After Chand’s attendance at the meeting a news item appeared in the Guyana Times reporting that some sugar workers were calling for the resignation of Chand. Jagdeo is said to wield significant influence at the Guyana Times and it was believed that the news item about Chand was inspired by him. Sources say a campaign is afoot to move against Chand in the PPP and as one of its MPs in Parliament. There is also the likelihood of a move against him in GAWU.
While Jagdeo said there is no fight between the young and old comrades in the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C), persons close to the party say that Jagdeo is continuing to wage battle against the Jaganite faction of the party of which Chand is a part.
Jagdeo made no reference to Chand yesterday but criticised former long-serving PPP executive, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.
He accused the PM of only recently finding his voice on sugar.
“I notice that, even more interestingly given its suddenness, he seems intent on projecting the view that he is a champion for GAWU. In all the months, from the perfunctory consultation held between Government and the political Opposition on the future of the sugar industry to the mass-firings of thousands of sugar workers, many of whom supported him and the AFC, Nagamootoo was silent. In suddenly finding his voice, I think the Nagamootoo has once again exposed the fact that he is an opportunist and indentured to President (David) Granger and APNU”, Jagdeo declared.
“I wish to reiterate that there is no fight between the young and old comrades in our Party. We value our hard-working older members, who are also supportive of efforts to guide and groom younger leaders to take up leaderships posts, as we move forward as a political party”, Jagdeo added.