A tussle has erupted in the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) camp after BasilRajapaksa was given a notable welcome at the May Day rally and his picture was shown on the main SLPP banner on stage alongside party leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Daily Mirror learns.
Senior SLPP sources said that strong objections were raised with General Secretary of the party Sagara Kariyawasam as to why Basil was promoted alongside Mahinda Rajapaksa, as many SLPPERS saw this as a move to dampen the party image.
Earlier, former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s image was promoted on the SLPP banner along with Mahinda Rajapaksa but Gotabaya’s image was removed following his resignation from the presidency last year. Senior SLPP MPS raised objections why Basil was given so much prominence on the May Day stage and expressed disappointment over the move.
In recent weeks a campaign has been initiated by a few SLPP MPS to promote Basil Rajapaksa as the next SLPP Leader in the hope that he can make a re-entry into politics after the dual citizenship clause preventing such individuals from contesting future elections, is amended again. However, senior SLPP MPS who are against such a move alleged that with Basil loyalists promoting him as the party leader, this will only make the SLPP unpopular.
SLPP Coalition party members have also raised concerns within the party that some SLPP MPS have left the party due to Basil’s interference and if there is a change in leadership it will lead to a split in the party