While Independent Liberal Party (ILP) St Joseph by-election candidate Om Lalla was in the United National Congress (UNC), he filled out Ian Alleyne’s UNC application form and Jack Warner, who was on the UNC’s screening team in 2010, subsequently screened the former talk show host, Alleyne said yesterday. He made the comment as he dismissed Warner’s claim he might be unable to contest Monday’s by-election if he was not a UNC member or did not have a party card.
Alleyne said during Thursday’s San Juan walkabout he did not need a party card to help people and Warner subsequently based his “concerns” on that remark. But speaking to reporters at Aranguez, San Juan, yesterday, where he dropped in after a Food Production Ministry function, Alleyne said Warner was “clearly politicking,” since both Warner and Lalla knew full well he was a UNC member and for how long.
Alleyne said he and Lalla had been drinking coffee in Lalla’s Valsayn kitchen in 2010, when Lalla presented him with a UNC membership application form and said he was going to fill the application form out for him. “My good friend Om Lalla also took me to UNC head office at Rienzi Complex so I don’t know how he and his leader can come up with this now,” Alleyne added. He said in April 2010 he was also screened by the UNC for Chaguanas East and Warner was on UNC’s screening team.
“So all this man can do is cause bacchanal and try and tarnish people’s character but his claim holds no merit, I assure you,” he said. Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj also said when he was screened for Couva South in 2010, Alleyne was in the waiting room with him also waiting to be screened. He added: “Jack Warner was on the screening team then and he would have questioned Alleyne all about his bona fides but how much of them in the ILP have party cards?
“Warner is trying in his trademark way to distract from the issue. “Ian Alleyne never tendered his resignation from the UNC and never publicly said he resigned. He may have been critical of the party but that’s his fundamental right for the betterment of T&T.”