The Opposition had conspired against the government by calling for a surprise division on Expenditure Heads of two ministries, last week, in violation of an agreement reached at the Party Leaders’ Meeting, Leader of the House and Minister Lakshman Kiriella said, yesterday.
The minister was replying to UPFA MP Bandula Gunawardena in Parliament.
“If there had been gentlemen in Parliament, the party leaders’ agreement should have been respected. If you give a word, that must be kept,” Kirielle said, adding that it was a conspiracy similar to the on October 26 last year.
MP Gunawardena, countering statements by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister Vajira Abeywardena over the weekend, said the defeat of Expenditure Heads would not be a problem to pay the public servants’ salaries as Parliament had already approved a Vote on Account for the first quarter of the year.
“Moreover, the Treasury
has an account reserved for emergencies. Don’t blame the Opposition for any consequences of the defeat of vote,” he said.
JVP MP Dr Nalinda Jayatissa brought to the attention of the House that the government’s statements on consequences of defeat of the vote are contradictory. “The Prime Minister said the government had lost only Rs 320 as a result of the defeat but the subject minister said the payment of salaries for 550,000 public servants had become a problem due to the defeat of the expenditure heads. Who is telling the truth?”
UNP MP Hesha Vithanage challenged the Opposition to defeat the final vote of the budget and take over the government if possible without playing political games inconveniencing the public. UNP MP Chaminda Wijesiri said the Opposition should take the responsibility for any consequences of defeating the Expenditure Heads.
UPFA MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa observed that they were playing the role of the Opposition in Parliament and they would not hesitate to defeat Expenditure Heads of any Ministry once again if they get the opportunity to do so.
(Source: The Island – By Saman Indrajith)