Mizoram: MNF accuses ZPM leader of misusing MLA funds, demands accountability
Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) leader Lalduhoma Credit: EastMojo image

Aizawl: Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) leader Lalduhoma on Friday accused the Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by chief minister Zoramthanga of violating the Election Commission’s model code of conduct (MCC). As per Lalduhoma, Zoramthanga renewed contract with four lottery distributors after the MCC came into effect on March 12.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Aizawl, Lalduhoma said the State Lottery Committee (SLC) in its meeting on March 15 proposed to sign agreement with four distributors, Teesta Distributors, NV International, Summit Online Trade Solution and E-Cool Gaming Solution, for distribution of state lottery.

The proposal was approved by chief minister Zoramthanga in violation of the election model code of conduct, he said.

According to him, the agreements, as decided by the meeting, will last till September, which can be extended in consultation with four distributors. He said that the ZPM would file complaint with the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ashis Kundra over the matter.

Lalduhoma, who is also the chief of Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP), a regional party he founded in 1997, said the erstwhile Congress government had already suspended contract of several lottery draws to the firms in July last year in the wake of agitation launched MNF.

According to him, the government should have floated fresh tender (invitation of expression of interest) before renewing contract. He said that selection of distributors without floating tender was illegal as there were many Supreme Court rulings.

The MNF had staged a series of protest in July last year following the extension of contract of several lottery draws to the four distributors by Lal Thanhawla-led Congress government, which forced it to suspend on July 9.

The CAG, in its report presented to the Assembly in 2016, said the Mizoram government lost Rs 11,808.77 crore during 2012-13 to 2014-15 fiscal because of non-deposit of minimum guaranteed revenue (MGR) and administrative expenses by four lottery distributors. “The state government during 2012-13 to 2014-15 received a paltry revenue of Rs 25.45 crore,” the report also said.

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