AIZAWL, Nov 15: The main opposition Mizoram National Front (MNF) today demanded that Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla resign as MLA for lying under oath. MNF general secretary MC Lalrinthanga, said in a press conference today that Lal Thanhawla deliberately lied before the Election Commission of India and the people of Mizoram, by concealing his assets, while filing affidavits, before the 2013 Assembly elections. Lal Thanhawla’s ownership of a plot of land at Salt Lake, Kolkata, has recently surfaced and become a big political issue with the opposition parties capitalising on it. 

According to mining engineer and social media activist Hriata Chhangte, who revealed it, Lal Thanhawla bought the land on August 30, 2013, well ahead of the November 2013 Assembly polls. Lal Thanhawla, who is a five-time Chief Minister, is well aware that he is obliged under the law to furnish every detail of his assets in his affidavits, failing which he is liable to be punished, Lalrinthanga MNF said, adding that concealing his ownership of land in Kolkata was intentional. Had Lal Thanhawla not concealed his ownership of a plot of land in his affidavits, chances are that the Congress would have failed to win the elections, Lalrinthanga said. Lalrinthanga further questioned how Lal Thanhawla, who claimed he did not embezzle even a single rupee, managed to purchase a 3,228 square foot land in a metropolitan city like Kolkata, market price of which is estimated to be well above Rs 2,00 lakh. 

Now, it has surfaced that Lal Thanhawla owns a flat in RK Puram, New Delhi, not to mention the costly amusement park at Zemabawk, Aizawl, Lalrinthanga said. While Lal Thanhawla’s known sources of income are MLA salaries, house rents and his wife’s pension, how can he own such expensive assets, he asked. With this situation, we demand that Lal Thanhawla resign as MLA, for lying to the Election Commission of India and to the people of Mizoram, Lalrinthanga said. 

MNF volunteers had on Tuesday tried to prevent the Chief Minister from attending Assembly session, saying that he was unfit to sit in the Assembly House. Meanwhile, Hriata Chhangte has filed a complaint to the Election Commission of India against Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla in the false affidavit issue. It is clearly a prima facie case of deliberately submitting a false affidavit by Lal Thanhawla, a broad daylight cheating of the voters of Serchhip constituency in particular, the people of Mizoram/India and even the most coveted pillar and custodian of our Indian democracy such as an Institution like yours, the Election Commission of India, Chhangte said in his complaint. He prayed the EC that Lal Thanhawla be punished under the existing law of the land. Meanwhile, a Congress spokesperson said today, In April 2011, West Bengal Government alloted plots of land in Salt Lake to prominent citizens. Lal Thanhawla was one of them. 

Lal Thanhawla formally cleared the ownership of the land alloted to him in August, 2013. He still had to clear mutation of property with the New Town Kolkata Development Authority to be the legal owner of the land, which he did only on July 25, 2014, several months after the 2013 Assembly elections, he said.  -Assam Tribune

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