The PNM and UNC sides were abuzz with "talk" on Wednesday night, after UNC Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial used obscene language in the Parliament's tearoom, following a verbal attack on her by a Government Senator in earlier Senate debate.
In the Senate on Wednesday, Lutchmedial - in debate on the bill to validate councillors' actions after December 2022 - had slammed Government on issues concerning the recent Privy Council judgment against extension of the Local Government term.
PNM Senator Renuka Sagramsingh-Sooklal, speaking after Lutchmedial, said, "Senator Lutchmedial, throughout the length and breadth of her presentation, she kept saying she's 'astounded and confused' and I believe the Senator ...
"I believe the Senator is indeed 'astounded' and she's 'confused' because apparently for a second she thought this was 'spread paal with Moonilal' and this was not the Senate!" Sagramsingh-Sooklal added.
UNC Senators protested so much against her remark being "out of place" that Senate Vice President Muhammad Ibrahim had to call for order at length, sternly warning UNC Senator David Nakhid.
Ibrahim said debate was veering down a very emotional pathway and he asked everyone to temper their comments and abide by the Standing Orders, which requires them to speak and behave as senators.
Sagramsingh-Sooklal continued speaking, dismissing Lutchmedial's other points on the bill.
Witnesses claimed Lutchmedial later went to the Parliament’s tearoom, where some Government senators, including Ndale Young, were sitting and obscene language was used by Lutchmedial in a rebuff when one PNM Minister offered her a piece of cake. Young said he told her she shouldn't use that type of language.
"But she said she didn't care," he added.
Young, expressing concern that obscene language was used, said, “Notwithstanding the cut and thrust of the politics in the chamber, we ought to hold ourselves to high standards. I indicated that to UNC Senator Jearlean John, to whom I spoke about the issue. We have to maintain a level of couth even if we don’t like what we see or hear."
Lutchmedial didn't comment on the incident yesterday. But her Facebook site carried the following post: "You can take the rat out of the gutter but can't take the gutter out of the rat. When people lack substance and the intellectual capacity to speak on issues they resort to personal attacks."
In a release yesterday, however, the UNC Women's Arm denounced what it called the abhorrent remarks made by Sagramsingh-Sooklal during the Senate proceedings.
"This deplorable incident not only flagrantly undermines the principles of respect and dignity but also serves as a stark reminder of the pressing need for unwavering support and recognition for young women in politics," it said.
It said after Lutchmedial diminished the previous government speakers with her in-depth knowledge of the law, Sagramsingh-Sooklal resorted to despicable personal attacks, shamelessly stooping to the lowest depths imaginable for a woman in politics.
"The UNC Women's Arm firmly upholds that the vital role of women in politics should be exalted and vigorously championed. It is both disheartening and infuriating to witness a young woman in a position of power exploit her platform to propagate hate and bitterness, while callously disrespecting the rich history and cultural heritage of an ethnic group within Trinidad and Tobago. Such reprehensible behaviour not only undermines the cherished values of inclusivity and diversity but also tarnishes the very fabric of unity that ought to be fostered within our society."