Controversial political activist, Kennedy Budhlall believes that if the “necessary structures” are not put in place to find a successor for the current political leader of the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Dr. Keith Mitchell, there is a strong possibility that the 30 year old party will be in trouble.
Budhlal told a Real FM radio programme last Friday that when Dr. Mitchell finally decides to leave the political scene, many party supporters would like to see a continuation of the NNP and the preservation of his legacy.
However, he feared that at present nothing is being put in place to ensure that this happens.
He suggested that PM Mitchell should call in his Parliamentarians alongside the party’s General Secretary Roland Bhola and demand and insist that they put “sustainable structures” in place from the level of the Polling Divisions within the various Constituency branches and to train Political Activists of the party so they can sustain the party.
There are fears in some quarters that the NNP might disintegrate in the post-Mitchell period similar to the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) after the death of its charismatic leader, sir Eric Matthew Gairy.
PM Mitchell has often spoken of “grooming” the next generation of party leaders to take over the mantle of leadership whenever he decides to call it a day in frontline politics.
However, the Grenadian leader has never specifically identified the persons who he is grooming.
A party insider told this newspaper that new entrant to the party, former Congress member, Peter David is already well positioned to take over the NNP as its leader in the aftermath of Mitchell since two others – Bhola and newly appointed Foreign Affairs Minister, Clarice Modeste-Curwen are not inclined to fight for the top party post.
Two dark horses are said to be attorney-at-law, Dwight Horsford and Agricultural economist, Dr. Patrick Antoine.
In his radio interview, Budhlal did not speak kindly of the NNP Parliamentarians and their performances at the constituency level.
He said the only time some NNP parliamentarians and members will be busy is when there is distribution of road work, but after that “they gone back in their shells.”
The political activist also spoke of PM Mitchell being a liability to the NNP and the way forward for the party that has won four of the last five general elections
He chided the Prime Minister for cultivating a dependency syndrome on him within the NNP.
According to Budhlal, the NNP Parliamentarians will often go and sleep for four to five years after general elections are held and they are sure that on the next polling day that their political leader will be there to support them financial and politically for the battle.
He said that General Secretary Bhola alone cannot do the work that is needed and that Prime Minister Mitchell needs to call in “some of these hard headed and lazy Parliamentarians and demand and insist that they do the (political) work”.
“Let them know there is a consequence, failure to do the work they’re gone, Budhlal told the programme host.
Both Budhlal and the host of the programme, Andre Donald, suspected to be a card-bearing NNP member believes that David, the former NDC General Secretary who is now a full-fledged member of the “House” is not the most suitable candidate to replace Dr. Mitchell as the party’s Political Leader.
Budhlal said that David who was recently appointed as a Government Senator in the Upper House must first try and gel into the party.
“He (David) cannot come in at the top. He is all of us friend but he cannot come at the top. We have to make sure that every little bit of yellow (NDC) come out of him, he said.
Budhlal who is believed to be back in the NNP as a member after a spell with Congress, suggested that some hardcore NNP members and supporters are too small-minded and would not like to hear what he is saying on radio in the public.
However, he said: “Our duty as political activists, those who could see beyond the ordinary man, our duty is to alert them of the impending danger ahead”.
Budhlal stated that if he senses that Dr. Mitchell will end up in the “cemetery with the New National Party” it is his duty to alert the Grenadian people, alert the Political Leader, and alert the Political Activists so as to prevent it from happening.
“How as an NNP we could sit and stand idly by and recognise what will happen in the future. I am open and frank, I am fearless and if I see something going wrong in the NNP it is my duty to alert them”, he said.