Highways, Road Development and Petroleum Resources Minister Kabir Hashim, who is also the Chairman of the United National Party (UNP), is reported to have taken a swipe at the party hierarchy for planning to form an alliance with the like-minded parties without his knowledge.
Mr. Hashim, who is known to be promoting Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa as the presidential candidate, said at the UNP parliamentary group meeting that he learned about such an alliance through the media.
However, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe responded saying that Mr. Hashim was privy to talks conducted in this regard.
Meanwhile, Mr. Hashim said Mr. Premadasa should be nominated as the presidential candidate because the UNP could not afford to lose this time.
Several ministers including Ranjith Madduma Bandara, Asoka Abeysinghe, Harin Fernando and Eran Wickramaratne are said to have expressed their support to the views expressed by Mr. Hashim.
Mr. Wickremesinghe said he would take a decision at the right time after consulting the other party leaders.