None of the prominent UNP politicians participated in the rally held at the Wills Park Stadium in Badulla yesterday (12) as the initial step of Sajith Premadasa's presidential campaign, reports said.
Sports Minister Harin Fernando, who is in charge of campaigning for Sajith Premadasa had organized the rally, and only a couple of members including Ajith P. Perera, Ravindra Samaraweera, Ranjith Madduma Bandara, Sujiwa Senasinghe, Wasantha Aluwihare, Chandrani Bandara, Hesha Withanage and Chaminda Wijesiri had participated backing Sajith.
Many including Malik Samarawickrama - one that had taken initiative to campaign for Sajith in working committee, Kabir Hashim - one that had secretly visited opponent Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and Mangala Samaraweera - who had publically acclaimed his support for Sajith had avoided yesterday's rally.
Upon being displeased that Sajith Premadasa has aggressively imposed his personal agenda in a manner that is embarrassing to the UNP and beneficial to the opposition, especially as the party has yet to decide on the presidential candidate, they must have avoided the rally, according to sources.
Sajith Premadasa has also been criticized for not firing at the Rajapaksas and their politics directly, instead attacking the UNP policies and the present government before media.
Sources also said Sajith is believed to be playing a double game by many members of the party, as his behaviour is frequently being questioned and morally unsupported to many of the UNP loyalists.