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Vendor Jean Kowlessar sells vegetables along the Naparima Mayaro Road, Princes Town, yesterday.

RADHICA DE SILVA

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Princes Town residents say they love their MP Barry Padarath but feel hurt that he abandoned them during COVID-19 lockdown.

Padarath flew out of the country to be with his daughter Sejal in the United States shortly before the lockdown of T&T’s borders in late March.

Guardian Media yesterday visited his Princes Town constituency of and spoke with residents, many of whom say they were suffering from a lack of representation.

Randy Sumchan of School Trace, New Grant, said Padarath has not been around to assist those who put him in power.

“School Trace has big, big holes. We can’t see Barry and he is not doing anything,” Sumchan said.However, vendor Jean Kowlessar, of Sancho Road, said Padarath was a good MP who has always kept in touch with his constituents. She said since he left T&T during the COVID-19 pandemic, their councillor Gowrie Roopnarine has been picking up the slack.

“Barry is a man who is always on the ground helping people. He is a very good MP and I definitely want him to come back,” Kowlessar said.

Arnold Edwards, a contractor of Seecharan Street, New Grant, also said Padarath has done a great job as an MP.

“He is very devoted to his constituents and we are satisfied that he has done good so far but we are disappointed that he left us now. The people of Princes Town have problems and he is not around to help us,” Edwards said.

He added that there was previously a problem with a drain in his community and within a week Padarath got the problem sorted out.

“When we go to him he helps us. He is a good MP and I think he should come back to represent us,” Edwards added.

Rondell Bisnath, of St Croix Road, also said he loved Padarath as an MP but had misgivings about him returning to the seat.

“He has done a good job but look at how he left us during COVID. He really should be here. Right now he is not representing us so how will we vote for him if he is not around to help us now when we going through the worst health crisis we have ever seen. This is not acceptable at all,” Bisnath said.

Businesswoman Maggie Hassanali also said she had no complaints about Padarath when it came to his performance as an MP.

“Yes, I think he should go back,” Hassanali said.

Ruben Hosein, from Mandingo Road, said all of the political representatives for Princes Town had failed the people.

“It doesn’t matter who we put there. All of them is the same thing,” Hosein said.

A UNC source meanwhile told Guardian Media that screening for the Princes Town seat took place on Tuesday night.

Padarath was one of several prospects who filed nomination papers. Contacted on this, UNC PRO Senator Anita Haynes said details of the screening process were confidential and it was up to the individual nominees to disclose details.