AIZAWL, May 20: Five Congress MLAs of Mizoram today donated their basic salary for May to Chief Minister Zoramthanga to fight against COVID-19. Led by Congress Legislature Party leader Zodintluanga, four Congress MLAs handed over the cash to the Chief Minister. 

Nihar Kanti Chakma, one of the Congress MLAs, was absent as he was touring the border areas in his constituency. “As per a decision taken in the CLP meeting on May 19, we have donated our basic pay for May to the Chief Minister’s COVID-19 fund alone. 

We have not donated to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund,” Zodintluanga told reporters. His statement reflects the Congress’ skepticism about proper utilisation of the CM’s Relief Fund, to which crores of rupees have been donated. 

The five MLAs’ basic pay amounts to Rs 4 lakh. “As we do not know how long the pandemic will continue, we will decide our next course of action depending on the situation,” Zodintluanga said. The remaining 35 MLAs, including 27 MNF MLAs, seven ZPM MLAs and one BJP MLA, had decided to donate 30 per cent of their basic pay from May to December in a meeting held a few days ago. 

The Congress MLAs had skipped the meeting. Zodintluanga said the Congress MLAs want withdrawal of the MLAs’ local area development fund to fight against COVID-19. “The Congress MLAs intend to utilise our local area development fund to fight against the pandemic as far as possible,” he said. ~Assam Tribune

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