by Stella Ramsaroop
(Originally published in Guyana's Kaieteur News on 3 December 2006)
Minister of Human Services and Social Security Priya Manickchand has really been making the rest of those PPP Ministers look bad lately. Every time we turn around, she is doing something else of consequence. And doing it well, too!
Obviously she must have missed the meeting where the Ministers of Jagdeo’s administration were told to glide through the next five years doing little of consequence while telling the public the party is working hard for Guyana.
She has even left PPP poster boy, Smart and Sharp Robert Persaud, MBA behind to eat her dust as she whirs to yet another significant task. Pretty soon everyone will be saying, “Who is Robert Persaud”? Of course, even Rohee is outshining Smart and Sharp lately.
When I found out that Minister Manickchand went to visit the good citizens of an area that has been overrun with criminal scum, I thought to myself that Smart and Sharp would never have the cojones to do such a thing.
This lady appears to actually care about the people of Guyana. At this rate, four and a half years from now, Poised and Proper Priya will have won the hearts of the PPP constituents so completely that they will demand that she be the party’s candidate for president.
Such a turn of events would certainly be heartening since I really was not looking forward to a battle of the egos between the three MBAs - Robert Persaud, Peter Ramsaroop and Eric Phillips.
If she continues on her current path, Poised and Proper Priya Manickchand would be a viable alternative for the PPP’s presidential choice. Well, that is if they are actually looking for a viable candidate.
She has spunk, charisma and she reaches out to the people. She also seems to be able to work across partisan lines on important issues, but the vote is still out on that one.
Of course, it is still a very long stretch before the next general election and the good minister could pull a “Bibi Shadick” and ruin all chances of anyone taking her seriously again.
Bibi chose to throw away all of her hard work on women's issues when she callously disregarded the claims of some young women who said they had been assaulted. It was not for Bibi to decide whether these assertions were true, the claims should have been taken seriously and investigated fully by the proper authorities, but Bibi had some personal business that got in the way.
Bibi had me fooled for a long time. I thought she cared about the women of Guyana, but it seems she cared more about her close buddies. I do hope Priya’s apparent concern for the women of Guyana is more genuine than that of her predecessor. If so, then Guyana has found a promising future in one of its newest ministers.
However, in Guyana politics, you never know from day to day which way the wind will blow. There is always the off chance that Poised and Proper Priya will be kicked out of the PPP for being too effective, start her own party and steal some PPP votes in the next election.
Nah, the PPP party leaders wouldn’t be so petty as to get rid of a valuable Minister just because he/she is doing a good job. Would they?