FIRED by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar for failing to take a breathalyser test on Sunday, former minister in the National Security Ministry Collin Partap kept a low profile at his family's Tableland home yesterday.
A Toyota Prado sports utility vehicle was parked in the driveway, but no one answered the door bell when the Express visited the Partap home at Mantacool Road, George Village, last evening.
However, neighbours said they were shocked and disturbed by the allegations that led to Partap's sudden dismissal.
One neighbour said, "I never know Collin to drink or to be in this kind of thing. This has to be a set-up."
A woman who said she knew Partap most of her life expressed shock at what had happened.
"I am shocked, surprised, and disappointed when I heard this. Collin is a very cordial and respectable person. He would sometimes drop me and my daughter to the George Village junction for her to get to school on mornings," she said.
Residents said little was seen of Partap because "he left early and and returned late".
Another neighbour said, "When we did see him he would wave and say hello. I don't know what went wrong. I never knew Collin to be like that."
Partap also got support from several political colleagues yesterday.
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan said, "the Prime Minister and Collin are very close. She is his senior and he understands that whatever decision she has made is made in his best interest".
Khan, who said he spoke with Partap before and after Sunday's incident, said that the former minister was taking the decision to revoke his appointment as Minister "in stride".
Khan said it was refreshing to see police officers in search of wrongdoers outside nightclubs, but suggested that the media investigate how exactly Partap came to be detained.
Partap was detained by police after exiting the Zen nightclub on Keate Street, Port of Spain.
Another Government minister who spoke with Partap by cellphone yesterday said he appeared "okay".
"I called to give him encouragement as a MP and to continue his work in the constituency," said the Minister who did not want to be named.
Partap, an attorney and Member of Parliament for Cumuto/Manzanilla, is the son of Harry Partap, former Member of Parliament for Nariva, who is now Trinidad and Tobago's High Commissioner to South Africa.
In the 2010 general elections, Harry Partap declined to offer himself as a nominee for what was then the Cumuto/Manzanilla seat, and his son was chosen as the successful candidate.
The Express understands that Harry Partap, a former editor with the Express, was reported to be making arrangements to return to Trinidad and Tobago with his wife Nazra Mohammed Partap, a retired school principal.
Collin Partap is the United National Congress' (UNC) policy and strategy officer, and was on the PM's slate that won the January 24, 2010 internal party internal elections.
Before he was appointed Minister in the National Security Ministry, he was Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister.