Home Minister Y Patton in hot water
• Denies having referred to Kiyanilie Peseyie’s death during Lao Ong Mo speech in Mon
• Rival NPF group says Patton ‘appears’ to have relished his former colleague’s death
Dimapur, Oct. 1 (EMN): Caught in the middle of a damning accusation, Home Minister Y Patton on Sunday issued a statement claiming innocence and denied having referred to Kiyanilie Peseyie – who had passed away recently – while speaking at the celebration of Lao Ong Mo in Mon district on September 29 last.
The rival NPF group – of which the former speaker Kiyanilie Peseyie was a chief leader – had alleged that Patton referred to Peseyie’s death and its resultant reduction in number of legislators in support of Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu, during the of Lao Ong Mo celebration.
“It is extremely unfortunate that a wild allegation was made against me by Wango Konyak and Yanlong Konyak of Mon that I had uttered the name of late leader Kiyanilie Peseyie, former Speaker of Nagaland Legislative Assembly and NPF MLA, during the Lao Ong Mo – a post-harvest festival of the Konyak community – held on 29 September 2017 at Mon Public Ground. I am deeply hurt by this wild allegation.
“This wild allegation is nothing but a deliberate attempt not only to tarnish my political integrity but also an attempt to create misunderstanding among the communities. It is also a character assassination and criminal in nature. The fact is I had never uttered the name of our late leader Kiyanilie Peseyie throughout my brief speech at the Lao Ong Mo festival at Mon Public Ground on 29 September 2017,” a statement from the home minister claimed on Sunday.
According to Patton, he was ready “not only to resign but to give up mu political career” if the allegations could be proved true. “However, if they cannot prove that I had uttered late Kiyanilie Peseyie’s name during the Lao Ong Mo festival at Mon public ground on 29 September 2017, they have to tender a public apology. If they fail to tender a public apology for their wild allegation against me, I have no option but to file a defamation suit against them in the court of law.”
‘Inconsiderate and in bad taste’
The NPF ‘press and media bureau’ on Sunday issued a press statement suggesting that the home minister ‘appeared to relish the demise’ of Peseyie and the subsequent reduction of the numerical strength of the Liezietsu-led NPF group in the Assembly.
The publicity wing stated that Patton’s alleged statement was in bad taste ‘inconsiderate of the sentiments of the grieving family members and unbecoming of a legislator who had been associated with the departed leader for nearly ten years.’
“It is unthinkable that a politician would use the death of another to score brownie political points, and is in total contravention of the ethos of the Naga people who have the highest of respects for the dead.
“Furthermore, converting one of the premier festivals of the Konyak Nagas into a political rally was uncalled for and most unfortunate, and is an insult to the organizers and the people who were gathered there to celebrate a traditional festival without any political bias or favour.”
It also reminded that despite the home minister’s alleged rant against Liezietsu – ‘when he told the gathering that the former was not even a member of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly – Liezietsu was chosen as chief minister by the legislators themselves in the aftermath of the ULB elections pandemonium.
“Mr. Patton seems to have conveniently forgotten that he was one of the most vocal legislators demanding that TR Zeliang resign that night itself!” the statement read. “And normalcy having being restored under the leadership of Dr. Shurhozelie, it beggars an answer as to what extenuating circumstances compelled these same legislators to pull the rug off Dr. Shurhozelie’s feet if not for the decision of Dr. Shurhozelie’s government to curb corruption, stop backdoor appointments and to hand over the infamous MKR Pillai’s case to the CBI.”