mavaiThe leaders of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) are split over selecting the Chief Ministerial candidate for the Northern Provincial Council (NCP) polls.

The leaders of the five constituent parties in the TNA met yesterday to pick a Chief Ministerial candidate for the NPC polls and the names of former Judge of the Supreme Court, C. Vigneswaran, and Jaffna District TNA Parliamentarian, Mavai Senathiraja, were taken into consideration at the meeting, Alliance sources said.

TNA Leader, R. Sampanthan, had argued the new NPC Chief Minister should possess a legal background to deal with the unresolved problems in the North once the NPC is established.

Informed sources said Sampanthan preferred Vigneswaran over Senathiraja, despite the latter being the General Secretary of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK), the prime party in the TNA. However, the majority of the TNA members from the North and East are backing Senathiraja and they have pointed out that he has been in the politics from his very early days and a ‘diehard’ supporter of late ITAK Leader, S.J.V. Chelvanayakam.

The supporters of Senathiraja had also pointed out, he has been actively engaged in the post-war conflict issues and is accepted by the Tamil expatriates abroad, sources said. Therefore, yesterday’s meeting of the TNA didn’t succeed in deciding on the Chief Ministerial candidate for the NPC, sources said.  Meanwhile, Senathiraja announced yesterday he is prepared to accept the Chief Ministerial candidature for the NPC.

Earlier, the other prospective candidate, Justice Vigneswaran had announced he would only accept the Chief Ministerial candidature, if he is unanimously accepted by all Tamil political parties.