By Jamila Najmuddin
President Mahinda Rajapakse, in his new cabinet, has overlooked candidates from the UPFA who were selected to parliament at the recent elections from the Kandy District pending investigations over the alleged incidents which led to a re-poll in Nawalapitiya.
Former Minister and UPFA MP from the Kandy District Keheliya Rambukwella told Daily Mirror online that President Mahinda Rajapakse had called for a full scale inquiry into the Nawalapitiya election re-poll and till such time he did not receive a report, he would not officially hand over any responsibilities to the UPFA candidates who contested from that District.
“What I have been told is that the President will not hand over our responsibilities till such time he receives the inquiry report into the Nawalapitiya violence. The President has not appointed any of the Kandy District candidates into his new cabinet. He is expected to do so only after inquiries conclude,” Rambukwella said.
Daily Mirror online learns that President Rajapakse has been angered over the Nawalapitiya violence which led to a re-poll and wants to identify who were behind the incidents. The President is expected to receive a comprehensive report on the incidents within the next three days.
President Rajapakse has also expressed disappointment at the internal rift among the UPFA candidates who contested from the Kandy District saying it had brought disrepute to his party. He had also said the fighting had been a disgrace.
Daily Mirror online learns that President Rajapakse is also likely to take disciplinary action against the candidates who had been involved in creating violence in Nawalapitiya during the April 8 General Election and during the days of campaigning for the re-poll.
The polls in Nawalapitiya in the Kandy District and Kumburupitiya in Trincomalee were annulled during the recent General Elections owing to reports of violence and vote rigging and a re-poll in these areas was held this week.
Controversial UPFA candidate and government Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage had charged this week that three government ministers were among those responsible for the polls in the Nawalapitiya electorate being annulled and a re-poll being called.
Speaking to Daily Mirror online on the eve of the re-poll the Minister noted that these three government Ministers together with the opposition UNP and JVP gave false information resulting in the Elections Commissioner calling for a re-poll in Nawalapitiya.
An agitated Aluthgamage had said that he will be taking up the issue with the UPFA party leader President Mahinda Rajapaksa as well as the party secretary. (Daily Mirror online)