August 14, 2015 1:54:55 pm
Breaking his silence over a media expose that a firm he held almost 5 lakh shares in was given several contracts by his chief minister brother, Mizoram Minister of State Lal Thanzara on Friday claimed he did not know he held shares in the company until the expose and that he did not receive any money from the company in lieu of the share he held.
“I only knew I held shares in the company after I was accused of having them. I did not receive even a naya ,” Lal Thanzara said in a speech to party workers at Congress Bhavan.
Congress spokespersons soon afterward made available copies of an affidavit filed before a public notary by Sanjay Chokhani, a director of Sunshine Overseas Pvt Ltd, that “our company… has not paid any dividend or share of profit or remuneration to Mr Lal Thanzara at any point of time.”
The affidavit also states that Lal Thazara “does not hold any share in our company … with effect from April 1, 2012.”
Reacting to the expose (which says the company’s business with the PWD rose from 6.83 crores to 24.16 crores in the three years Lal Thanzara held shares), the youth wing of the main opposition Mizo National Front had demanded the resignation of both Lal Thanzara and CM Lal Thanhawla over the apparent conflict of interest and also demanded an investigation.
Lal Thanhawla held, and continues to hold, the PWD portfolio during the time the contracts were awarded to the firm. Lal Thanzara was a Parliamentary Secretary at the time. As Minister of State in the current term, he assists his brother in looking after the PWD.
MNF Youth leaders also suggested they might go to court over the issue, pointing out a Supreme Court ruling has in the past disqualified an MP from parliament over a similar case.
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