Update : Arjuna, Rajitha, M.K.D.S. and a group of persons defect from SLFP and will contest under the UNP ticket from elephant symbol
Minister M. K. D. S. Gunawardana stated that the President has been informed that he along with Ministers Rajitha Senaratne and Arjuna Ranatunga would withdraw from the SLFP and contest along with the UNP at the forthcoming election.
The Minister said 8 more MP’s were to take a similar decision.
Minister M. K. D. S. Gunawardana further stated that Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera will also likely contest from the UNP.
Minister M. K. D. S. Gunawardana also stated that they have informed the President regarding their decision.
Our news team enquired from UPFA General Secretary former MP Susil Premajayanth regarding the decision taken by a group of SLFP MPs to defect from the SLFP.
In response, the General Secretary stated that the matter has not been informed to them officially, and that he cannot comment regarding their decision as it was their individual choice.
Meanwhile, Minister Lakshman Kiriella told our news team that another group of SLFP Mps are expected to join the UNP.
Our news team also enquired from Former MP Sudarshani Fernandopulle and Minister Piyasena Gamage who had announced joining UNP after defecting from the SLFP.
However, Minister Piyasena Gamage stated that he has not left SLFP so far.
In addition, Minister Rajitha Senaratne stated that SLFP former MPs Sarath Amunugama and Earl Gunasekara are also expected to join the UNP.