Toco/Sangre Grande MP Indra Sinanan Ojah-Maharaj received sustained heckles and boos in the presence of People's National Movement (PNM) political leader, Prime Minister Patrick Manning, at the PNM's last public political meeting at the Valencia Junction on Monday night.
Ojah-Maharaj's presentation at the PNM's "Meet the Constituents" series entitled: "Explaining policies, providing opportunities," faced frequent public outbursts from people gathered at the event. She suffered repeated jeers and interruptions from members of the crowd attending the function, which was held in her constituency. Ojah-Maharaj endured the taunts and contemptuous shouts in the presence of the former MP for the area, Roger Boynes, his brother, Ronald, who is the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation chairman, and PNM central executive member, Eric Taylor, also known in the calypso world, as Pink Panther.
Meanwhile, Manning has used the PNM's high turnout at a recent political gathering to raise his chances for success against Opposition political parties in an election. Manning boasted that his political meeting over the weekend appeared to draw a crowd that was more than three times the size of the one that Opposition forces were able to generate at their political meeting, which was held at the same time. He said the high attendance at the PNM special convention in Chaguaramas reflected that the PNM was able to command more individual support compared to the Opposition groups, which held a joint political meeting in Chaguanas on the same date. "The proof of the pudding lies in eating (it)...and when the political parties called upon individual support, we saw what we saw on Saturday," Manning said.
He indicated that the police estimated that at least 17,000 people attended the PNM special convention on Saturday. He also claimed that the number of people gathered at the Opposition meeting in Saith Park on Saturday stood at no more than 5,000 at its peak period. Manning said the PNM "went out of its way to ensure that" it verified the attendance figure for the Opposition's rally. "We counted it and at peak, my dear friends, and I am being very generous, at peak, the attendance was 4,000 people (at the Opposition's political meeting on Saturday)," he said. He stressed that PNM set mobilisation targets from its 41 constituency-executives for the PNM's special convention.
He reported that his San Fernando East constituency executive mobilised more than 950 people at the event. He also said that San Fernando West executive was able to mobile about 900 people for the same event.