THERE is a plot against Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to embarrass her and undermine the good work that she has been doing in her constituency and nationally as a whole.
This was the view expressed yesterday by several Government Ministers and Members of Parliament (MP) who told the Express that people are being 'imported' from various areas to stage protests and malign MPs.
Justice Minister Herbert Volney who is the St Joseph MP said he, too, is a victim of this plot.
"What is happening is people are being imported from all areas, different constituencies, to make it look as though we are not performing," said Volney.
"Ever since we came into Government there has been no honeymoon period and this Government has been continuously attacked from all fronts,'' said Volney.
"The leader of the Opposition walked in Maitagual, a part of my constituency that has traditionally supported the Opposition and he walked with people from all over the area except with the people of Maitagual," Volney alleged.
"It is happening all over the country; in the constituency of Collin Partap I have seen that happen; it has happened in my constituency, it is orchestrated by those against the Government who have their grouses,' Volney added.
He said the People's Partnership inherited a country that was neglected by the former PNM administration and Government was doing the best it can to deliver to the people although they are saddled with heavy debts left by the PNM.
"What they are doing is trying to embarrass the Prime Minister. I saw a spokesman from the group that was protesting wearing a trade union uniform and there is a battle with the trade union over the five per cent wage gap," said Volney.
He said there are many positive initiatives in the pipeline, especially for Siparia—which will see the construction of a large judicial complex.
Local Government Minister and Fyzabad MP Chandresh Sharma said persons from Moruga and Arouca were identified as being part of the protest in the Siparia constituency.
"The honourable Prime Minister remains one of the most popular members of Parliament...it is simple for one to check, a number of persons who were protesting were not from her constituency, there were people there from Moruga and Arouca," said Sharma.
He said it would be "foolish" for any MP to expect that he or she has 100 per cent support from every constituent and there would be those who would be upset that services are not being delivered as fast as they would like.
Sharma said people are free to protest as he pointed out that protests were also held against former prime ministers Patrick Manning, ANR Robinson, Basdeo Panday and George Chambers.
However, Sharma said in the case of Persad-Bissessar it does not add up. "If it is orchestrated, it is a dangerous thing to do," he said.
Minister of Housing and the Environment and MP for Oropouche East, Dr Roodal Moonilal, said the protests and sense of dissatisfaction emanating from the PM's constituency were questionable.
"I found it curious that the protest would be in the Prime Minister's constituency where there has been an enormous amount of infrastructure work. The Siparia constituency has a full staff and they regularly, at least with me, aggressively represent the constituents," said Moonilal.
"The other curious development is that those persons who were contented to protest every morning did not form a delegation and visit the constituency office and have discussions with the relevant staff," added Moonilal.
In his constituency, Moonilal said, he has a team in place who are empowered to meet with constituents who feel aggrieved.
"It's strange that the group of people are just happy making noises and putting on costumes. It may be part of the season,'' said Moonilal as he stressed that mechanisms are in place to hear any person who has a problem.
Minister in the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development and Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial has been defending the Prime Minister on blogs where the matter was discussed.
Contacted yesterday, Ramdial said, "I think the facts that we have been getting so far is that there are some operatives out there working against the Government; from the evidence we want to suspect that some of these protests are being staged and therefore it is being done to undermine the MP's good work."
She said given the strain on the economy, MPs do not get all that they request, but, they are working to deliver to the people.
Trade Minister and Chaguanas East MP Stephen Cadiz said that it was unfortunate that people are unreasonable.
He said he cannot ascertain whether there was a plot to embarrass the Prime Minister; however, he said that if people are aggrieved, then they should not burn tyres on the roads but go to the offices and formally make a complaint.
"Maybe that particular protest was not totally legitimate, but I would think that people would understand that the Prime Minister is the Prime Minister, she does not have the time that other members of Parliament have, she is responsible for looking after the entire nation," said Cadiz.
Senator Danny Maharaj, who has been assisting the staff at the Siparia constituency, said while one understands that some people will be frustrated, it was untrue to state that the Prime Minister has lost touch with the people of the constituency.
He said Persad-Bissessar is a very busy person but she ensured that systems are put in place so that the grievances of the people are noted and attended to.
"There has been a lot of work in the constituency in terms of roads, play parks, generally people are satisfied," he said.
Maharaj said there are many expectations from the people but so too throughout the country which he said was neglected by the PNM.
"The Prime Minister is visible in her constituency, she is totally in tune and intimate with the operations of her constituency office, she keeps in touch via e-mails, calls and comes down here to deliver on projects," said Maharaj.