Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa and Joint Opposition (JO) Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa locked horns in Parliament yesterday (9), despite repeated orders from Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to stop arguing after Weerawansa alleged that Premadasa was hiring workers in excess of the need, to the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA).
Weerawansa, at the beginning of yesterday’s Parliamentary sitting, claimed that Premadasa was hiring workers in excess of needs to the NHDA, on daily wages. This manner of hiring workers was causing huge financial burdens to the Institution, Weerawansa further claimed.
Premadasa replying to this said that he had not recruited any worker to the permanent cadre of the NHDA. “I have not distributed houses built by the NHDA to close associates and family members unlike my predecessor,” he stressed.
Premadasa then went on reading out a list of names of persons to whom Weerawansa had allegedly given houses while also indicating their relationship to Weerawansa.
Weerawansa challenged Premadasa saying that he would resign from his seat in Parliament if those individuals whom the Minister named were still occupying those houses. Mentioning a private television channel Weerawansa challenged Premadasa to an open debate on the matter.
“Premadasa should resign from his portfolio for making false allegations,” Weerawansa alleged.
He also asked the Minister to come for a debate on the matter in a private TV channel.
Premadasa responded that his was a truthful account and that he was ready to debate with Weerawansa on any occasion.
Speaker Jayasuriya repeatedly ordered both Weerawansa and Premadasa to stop arguing and let him carry on the day’s business without interruption. However, the verbal clash continued for another few minutes, forcing the Speaker to expunge their words from the record, where the duo levelled personal allegations against each other.