Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 14th 2015 Contents SHALIZA HASSANALI
Education Minister Dr Tim
Gopeesingh still enjoys support in
his Caroni East constituency, as
constituents say they would prefer
him to be re-elected by the United
National Congress (UNC) screening
committee rather than his rival
Maharaj, who was appointed Food
Production Minister in 2012, last
month signalled his intention to chal-
lenge Gopeesingh for the Caroni East
safe seat in the general election, while
Gopeesingh has asked his con-
stituents to give him another five-
year term as MP, triggering a fierce
battle between the two men.
On Wednesday, some constituents
admitted that whereas they did not
see Gopeesingh regularly, they were
unfamiliar with Maharaj and would
not vote for him.
In the last five years, constituents
have credited Gopeesingh with deliv-
ering box drains, providing them
with pipe-borne water, lighting for
recreational grounds and resheeted
However, in the St Helena district,
there were complaints of clogged
drains, flooding, lack of pavements
and a rat infestation.
At Esmeralda Road, Cunupia, 49-
year-old Dhandaye Ramlochan and
her two daughters Sema, 26, and
Sita, 20, said they would vote for
"Gopeesingh did a lot for the com-
munity," Sema said.
The three women pointed out that
roads were resurfaced, box drains
erected and electricity installed in
"People are better off today than
before," Dhandaye interjected.
Sita, a graduate of Holy Faith Con-
vent, Couva, said what the youth in
the community needed was employ-
"For two years I searching and
cannot find a job," she complained.
Having lost her father Rajkumar
Ramlochan to diabetes 11 years ago,
Sita said the $1,750 her mother col-
lected in NIS and social welfare could
not make ends meet and appealed
to their MP to help them obtain a
Asked if they would support
Maharaj if he were selected to run
for the Caroni East constituency,
Sema responded, "Who is he again?"
Told that he was one of the min-
isters in Prime Minister Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar s Cabinet, she replied,
"Oh, he is the one who does be on
TV. I don t know his track record.
I can t vote for somebody I never
Not far away, shopkeeper Shamilla
Bedassie said Gopeesingh had rep-
resented his constituents.
"I don t see our MP much, but
he s working. Little by little we are
getting things done. For one, crime
is down. The police are patrolling
on a regular basis."
Bedassie said she felt Gopeesingh
would be the better person to vote
for.Farmer Sharma Mangalee, who
grows crops at Esmeralda Road,
Cunupia, described Gopeesingh as
a failed MP.
"I can t tell you the last time I see
Gopeesingh. He cannot get my vote,"
Mangalee said he was disappointed
in the People s Partnership Govern-
"Everyday they are sinking deeper
and deeper into the mess they have
created. What is upsetting me is that
they are turning their backs on the
people who put them in power. They
are not serving the people."
Mangalee said Maharaj did not
have dialogue with the majority of
Cunupia farmers when they expe-
"He went to one farmer to have
consultation. I can t vote for Devant,"
"We have been begging for a sluice
gate to take the flood water out and
nobody hearing us. Now he saying
he wants to fight for the seat?"
Chin Chin Road vendor Ramlogan
Rampersad also took jabs at his MP
for not providing constituents with
He said the area was also prone
to flooding because of clogged water
"I have already put aside some
money to buy materials to build a
pavement in front my stall," Ram-
Rampersad estimated the cost of
labour and building materials at
"I don t know if Maharaj would
be a better candidate than
Gopeesingh. But I don t want the
PNM to win. The Prime Minister do
a lot for the country in five years. I
think she deserves another term,"
Rampersad said, while customer
Cheryl Griffith shook her head in
Gopeesingh---a no show
Persilla Dukadin praised the Gov-
ernment for providing her sister with
electricity at her Chin Chin Road,
"For years my sister managed
without electricity and she finally
got it under this Government. You
don t see Gopeesingh, but he serving
his constituents. I prefer to see devel-
opment taking place than to see a
MP who not doing anything. The
man cannot do everything at once
which is what people want," Dukadin
Dukadin had a hard time remem-
"His name sounding familiar but
I cannot picture his face. I would
vote for my MP again."
At the corner of Kernaham Trace,
along Chin Chin Road, retired
mechanic Kenrick Joseph said he had
not seen Gopeesingh in months.
"The last time I saw him was
before the general election," Joseph,
He said that grass cut by Cepep
was thrown into the water course in
front of his home.
"I would have to pay a man $50
to remove the weed so my home
would not flood when the rain falls,"
Asked if he would support
Maharaj, Joseph replied "I don t like
him in particular."
Joseph said he was not totally sat-
isfied with his MP, but would still
vote for him.
Seerani Rogers, 69, said
Gopeesingh promised that once the
UNC got into power, box drains
would be built along Bon Aventure
Street, in Cunupia, where she lives,
to ease the flooding.
"Five years passed and I still wait-
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt June 14, 2015
Continues on Page A14
...some not sure who Devant is
Everson Chadee points
to one of several
clogged drains in St
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