Speaking at the Macaulay Community Centre, Maharaj who is campaigning for the post of UNC political leader in the party’s internal election next January, said his constituents would not pay any new taxes and would instead journey to “Manning’s Palace” for a sit-down protest.
“We are not paying any property tax!” he said, adding Prime Minister Patrick Manning must first recover billions of dollars spent by the Urban Development Corporation of TT (Udecott).
He said the property tax which was passed in the House of Representatives on Monday evening by simple majority would add further stress to large sections of society who are already struggling to make ends meet.
Training his guns on his colleague, Siparia MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar who is also contesting the post of UNC political leader, which is held by Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday, Maharaj predicted that the election campaigning would “heat up” in the new year. He once again asked supporters whether they wanted “cosmetic changes” within the UNC which he claims is what is being offered by Persad-Bissessar or someone who would “fight” for them.
“I am not going to ill speak anyone. In the January 24 election, you are not voting for me, you are voting for your future and your children’s future,” Maharaj said.
He added there was also no need for supporters to fear him saying the only persons who needed to be afraid were the criminal elements which, he reminded his audience, were on the run during his stint as Attorney General.
Maharaj also announced at the meeting that former UNC Cabinet member and Congress of the People (COP) founding member Sadiq Baksh was appointed the CEO of the TT Civil Rights Association.
Maharaj said the move was aimed at expanding the base of the local arm of the organisation as it plans to increase vigilance relative to the many violations on human rights issues now being experienced in Trinidad and Tobago. Baksh is expected to take up the appointment from January 4, 2010. Maharaj will take a break from campaigning as he will spend Christmas in the Cayman Islands with family members. He returns home in early January.