AIZAWL, May 8 - The ruling Mizo National Front and the Opposition Congress in Mizoram are engaged in a war of words over government employees� decision to �donate� part of their salaries to the Chief Minister�s Relief Fund to fight against COVID-19 in the State.
A day after a meeting of representatives of 75 service associations, chaired by State Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, decided that Groups A, B and C employees would donate 10 per cent and Group D employees 5 per cent of their basic pay to the Chief Minister�s Relief Fund, Congress Legislature Party leader Zodintluanga argued that the MLAs should have taken the lead in this regard.
However, when the MLAs sat for a meeting on Thursday to discuss donation of part of their salaries to the Chief Minister�s Relief Fund, all the five sitting Congress MLAs were conspicuously absent. MNF, ZPM and BJP legislators took the decision to donate 30 per cent of their basic pay to the Chief Minister�s Relief Fund in the absence of the Congress members.
Immediately thereafter, the MNF fired a salvo at Zodintluanga, asking him where he was, and when his fellow legislators would sit to discuss �taking the lead� as he (Zodintluanga) had earlier suggested.
�After Zodintluanga made an urgent appeal in the media, the Assembly Speaker immediately convened a meeting to discuss the matter. Whereas Zodintluanga was supposed to give priority to the meeting, he and his colleagues skipped the same for something that looked less important,� the MNF said in a statement. �The one who sounded (in) so hurry to donate to the CM relief fund has turned out to be not so,� it added.
Meanwhile, to counter this, the Mizoram Pradesh Youth Congress Committee said in a press release that it appreciated the Assembly Speaker�s prompt action to discuss MLAs� contributions and attributed this to the Congress Legislature Party leader�s urgent appeal in this regard.
�The Mizoram government being so ardent about collecting funds, in the form of contribution, to the CM relief fund from government employees and MLAs is, on the other hand, a proof that chief minister Zoramthanga�s claim of a pool with overflowing funds holds no water,� the Youth Congress said in the release.