Vasant Bharath wrote an open letter to all Constituency Executives within the United National Congress.
Bharath said he “specifically refer to the statements of certain Constituency Executives which have been posted on Social Media and appear to pledge loyalty to the current leader. Whilst the publication of these statements are cause for serious concern, I am comforted by my faith in your knowledge that loyalty cannot be taken from you, nor should it be demanded of you; it must be earned by true leadership. I do however appreciate the political reality of your respective situations and wish to let you know that I harbor no ill will or malice.”
“Let me give to you my solemn word; should the members of our great party decide on December 6th to elect me as your leader, I will in no way discriminate, ostracise or undermine any Constituency Executive that has made public statements in support of the current leader.”
“I shall seek no retribution. That is not my way, that is not the leader I aspire to be and that is not the vision which I have for our party. I assure you, under my leadership, we shall be a party of love, dignity, and mutual respect. We shall be a party of unity because I sincerely believe that UNITY IS STRENGTH.”
He said while democracy can be a potent force for positive change, “it can be exposed by those who seek to remain in power only for the sake of wielding power.”
He insists that “a democratic party cannot exist without properly functioning democratic institutions. Our party’s democratic institutions are populated by our democratically minded members. Consequently, an attack on our party’s institutions is an attack on the members of our party.”
“Declarations of loyalty by our independent Constituency Executives are directly repugnant to the spirit, tenor, and intent of our constitution. In other words, our constitution does not contemplate or require declarations of loyalty to the leader during the conduct of internal elections. In fact, I dare say that our constitution impliedly rejects such conduct.”
“Let me be clear, I do not seek to condemn the Constituency Executives which have issued these statements. Instead, I wish to respectfully remind you, and those who seek to exercise control over you, of the Aims and Objectives of our great party as set out in our constitution,” wrote Bharath.
“These Aims and Objectives, in no uncertain terms, require us as a party to “foster the ethos, substance and processes of democracy in all spheres and aspects of national life” We, as members of the UNC are also required by our constitution to “struggle against any tendency towards authoritarianism, autocracy and dictatorship and to promote a viable diffusion of centers of power and decision-making as a check against the concentration and abuse of power.”