By Lahiru Pothmulla
Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said Minister Sajith Premadasa was not a challenge to them at the presidential election and asked how a person who could not even win the Tissamaharama electorate and Hambantota, could win the entire country.
He expressed these views in response to the questions asked by journalists at the Opposition Leader’s Office.
When asked for his comments over the UNP Working Committee nominating Minister Sajith Premadasa’s name as the presidential candidate, Mr. Rajapaksa said he was extremely happy.
qWhat kind of challenge would it pose?
A: No challenge at all, that’s what we expected. I always was of the opinion that Sajith should contest.
qDoes this mean he can’t win?
A: ‘Mona Pissuda’! What nonsense! How can a person who can’t even win the Tissamaharama electorate and Hambantoda, win the entire country?
qHe has been given conditions?
A: Yes, even the elephant symbol of the UNP has not been given to him. He has to contest under the swan symbol, the symbol which was given to Mr. Sarath Fonseka and President Maithripala Sirisena. They were not UNPers so that was fine. But Sajith is the UNP Deputy Leader. He should have been given the elephant symbol.
He said the nomination of Mr. Premadasa as UNP presidential candidate was no disadvantage at all to the SLPP and said they had no competition at all.
When asked whether he would be the Prime Minister in the event Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected President, Mr. Rajapaksa said, “We’ll see, we’ll see.”
What nonsense! How can a person who can’t even win the Tissamaharama electorate and Hambantoda, win the entire country?