Muslim Congress rebels demands for Hakeem's ouster

Mar 29 (IL) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Rebel front-liner Rishard Bathiudeen yesterday declared that SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem should resign from the party leadership. “If he resigns from the leadership, all SLMC factions are ready to rejoin the ‘one time strong’ Muslim Congress even immediately,” he said.

Emphasizing his claim, Mr. Bathiudeen noted that he along with the other two SLMC members (M. Najeeb and Ameer Ali) had no choice but to leave the party, as it was ‘very difficult to work with Hakeem’. “He is only interested in himself, the Constitutional powers vested to the SLMC leader is not been put to use for the benefit of the community, but is only used for his (Hakeem) own benefit,” Bathiudeen, who defected from the SLMC and now a Government Minister claimed.

There is only two alternatives, either the powers vested in the SLMC leader should be reduced or he should resign, he stressed, adding that in the event Hakeem does resign then the SLMC factions including the National Unity Alliance, Athaullah Faction, Ashraff Congress and his group will rejoin the party even immediately.

The SLMC rebel also claimed that not a single party member can speak a word against Hakeem, and even if they do so, they will be thrown out from the party. “That was why even we had to leave the party, we couldn’t work with him, it was very difficult,” he claimed.