UNP heavyweight S.B. Dissanayake is seeking to enter Parliament through the National List. He has discussed this with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, informed sources said.
Political sources said that Dissanayake and his supporters are of the view this would help the UNP to step up its campaign against President Mahinda Rajapakse`s administration.
Rajapakse released Dissanayake recently. The presidential pardon was given after the former Nuwara Eliya District MP lost his parliamentary seat for being away from Parliament for three months. This paved the way for his colleague Renuka Herath to take over his place while National List MP Navin Dissanayake assumed the Nuwara Eliya district leadership previously held by Dissanayake.
Party sources said that Dissanayake`s request placed Wickremesinghe in an extremely difficult position. An influential section of the parliamentary group, calling for far reaching organisational reforms, is believed to be taking a pro-Dissanayake stand. They are promoting Dissanayake as a Deputy Leader, the other being the incumbent Karu Jayasuriya. The sources said that Dissanayake was on the offensive. His bid is likely to receive wide support in the run upto the March 30 local government polls thereby triggering a fresh clash between Wickremesinghe loyalists and reformists.