COLOMBO: The Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran says that he has the right to be “neutral” vis-à-vis political parties because he is not a member of any political party.
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), whose administration he heads in the Northern Province, is not a registered political party for him to be a “member” of, Wigneswaran said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
He was replying to TNA spokesman and MP M.A.Sumanthiran, who had vowed to sack him from the TNA for being “neutral’ in the August parliamentary elections and issuing a statement which had indirectly asked people to vote for a rival political party.
Wigneswaran pointed that he had entered politics and agreed to be a candidate for the Chief Minister’s post before the 2013 Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections, on the condition that he would be supported by all parties. He recalled that the TNA had not made him its candidate after extracting a promise that he would do its bidding. He claimed that he was, in reality, a candidate of the people of the Northern Province which was why he got 130,000 preferential votes. Therefore, his only commitment would be to the voters.
Wigneswaran said that all that he said in his statement ahead of the parliamentary elections was that people should choose honest candidates committed to the welfare of the Tamil people. Perhaps TNA thought that its candidates were not honest and committed to the people, hence the objection, he quipped.
About Sumanthiran’s charge that he had not agreed to go to Canada to collect money for the parliamentary elections from the Tamil Diaspora, Wigneswaran said that he could not collect money when he would not be able to give an account of its expenditure. The candidates or the party should do the fund collection, he said.
On the complaint that he was issuing statements and getting the NPC to pass resolutions (as the one on genocide) without consulting the TNA’s leadership, Wigneswaran said that it was Sumanthiran who had been making policy pronouncements without consulting the party. Further, when he asked Sumanthiran about the resolution on genocide, the latter had approved of it, but when help was sought to draft it, he was not available.
Wigneswaran accused Sumanthiran and top TNA leader R.Sampanthan of wanting to be in the good books of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government, ignoring the Tamils’ demands such as the demilitarization of the Northern Province.
However, the Chief Minister made it clear that he had no intention of switching from the TNA. “I don’t need to leave the TNA and support any other party,” he said.