Azath Salley quits as UNP PC member

Azath Salley yesterday said, he had informed the Central Provincial Council that he has decided to resign from the PC as a United National Party (UNP) member.

Salley told Daily News that he had also informed the UNP about his decision.

Salley who contested the 2013 Provincial Council polls from the Kandy district, came first in the UNP list whilst securing 55,385 preferential votes.

When queried about his decision to quit, Salley said that it was to reorganize his own party, the National United Front (NUF).

Salley, the NUF leader said, he would be going around the country to reorganize and strengthen his party machinery.

When queried whether he was quitting in disappointment, Salley in a light hearted manner replied “no, absolutely not; however this may be the first political resignation from the Yahapalana Government”

There was speculation in recent times that Salley will fill the UNP national list slot vacated by the demise of late Minister M. K. A. D. S. Gunawardena. However, this was not to be.

Salley was a former member of the UNP’s Working Committee and the former deputy mayor of Colombo. He was sacked from the Working Committee of the UNP in 2009 for disagreeing with the party decision on the presidential candidate.

He then joined the then ruling alliance led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and was elected to the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC). However after sometime he joined the opposition again after clashing with the alliance members over CMC portfolios.

At the last Presidential election Salley backed the then common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena who went on to record a historic victory against his opponent Mahinda Rajapaksa