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Raheem voted with govt. on all occasions, including enactment of 20A

By Shamindra Ferdinando

All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) leader Rishad Bathiudeen said that Ali Sabri Raheem was the ruling SLPP’s responsibility.

The SLPP as well as Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, who accepted MP Raheem as a leader of a political party should deal with Puttalam District MP Raheem, the ACMC leader said.

An apparently irritated Vanni District MP said so when The Island asked him whether as the leader of that party that fielded Raheem on the Muslim National Alliance (MNA) ticket at the last general election he would initiate disciplinary action against the first time entrant to the parliament.

Except for Puttalam, the ACMC contested other areas at the August 2020 general election on the SJB ticket.

Lawmaker Bathiudeen alleged that soon after being elected to parliament MP Raheem switched his allegiance to the SLPP. In spite of specific directive to all members of their grouping not to throw their weight behind the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, MP Raheem voted with the SLPP on all occasions, MP Bathiudeen said. The Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration enacted the 20th Amendment to the Constitution in Oct 2020.

At one point MP Raheem declared himself as the leader of the MNA, MP Bathiudeen said, alleging that he was among the favoured. “MP Raheem voted with the SLPP throughout this period,” the former SLMC MP said. Bathiudeen represented the SLMC in parliament before he formed the ACMC.

Gampaha District SJB MP Harshana Rajakaruna on Tuesday (23) told parliament that MP Raheem should be dealt with appropriately. Such incidents prompted the public to point finger at all 225 members of parliament, MP Rajakaruna said, warning of dire consequences unless the MP was punished.

SLFP leader and former President Maithripala Sirisena called for the harshest possible action against the MP while endorsing the views expressed by the SJB MP.

The Customs apprehended the MP after he tried to walk through the VIP channel after having arrived from Dubai aboard a flydubai FZ 547 flight on Tuesday morning.

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