Nagaland: Y Patton denies attempt to topple govt.
Says EastMojo report is fake, fabricated and act of political adversaries to create distrust in PDA
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Oct. 1: Deputy Chief Minister Yangthungo Patton has refuted a news report that had suggested he was pushing for a change of guard in Nagaland government following a meeting with NSCN (IM) leader Th Muivah.
The news portal EastMojo, in an article published on Monday night, had claimed that Patton along with NPF leader TR Zeliang met Muivah recently at Hebron camp. “The meeting assumes significance in the backdrop of some speculations that a few senior leaders of the saffron party, under the leadership of Patton, are planning to forge an alliance with opposition NPF to form a new government in Nagaland, with Patton as the chief minister,” the report read.
Patton called a press conference at his residence in Ikishe village, Dimapur on Tuesday to dismiss the report as fake and fabricated. He told reporters that it was ‘an act of some political adversaries to create confusion in the minds of the people as well as to create distrust in the PDA.’
Asserting that the claims made in the report had ‘no logic’, Patton said that the Nagaland unit of BJP will only function as per the instructions from the central leadership.
“The rumour that is doing round in social media wherein I am alleged to have met collective leadership along with the former CM and present Leader of Opposition in the state TR Zeliang for possible change of guard is totally false and never in my wildest dreams (sic),” he said.
Patton went on to assert that the formation of the PDA government under the leadership of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio was based on gentlemen’s agreement; and they were committed to complete the term successfully.
Also, Patton dismissed the claim that he, along with Zeliang, had met Muivah on September 24 as ‘another figment of imagination of the author.’
“Never had I and Zeliang been together in camp Hebron in recent times. And why should I disturb any Naga political group leader for change of guard when they’re seriously engaged in finding permanent peace and solution for the Nagas. I vehemently condemn this statement, which is unauthenticated, unrealistic and defamatory in nature. Nevertheless, I will try to find out the root and may take legal recourse if need be,” Patton said.
According to him, he was in his office at Nagaland Secretariat in Kohima performing his duties and conducting public interviews on September 24.
Patton, who also holds the charge of Home Minister, maintained that there was nothing wrong even if he meets any Naga political leaders. “As the home minister in-charge, it is also my duty and responsibility to meet and encourage them to expedite the prolonged Naga political settlement in the interest of all the Naga people but there’s no logic in it on my part or any legislators to meet our Naga political group leaders for change of guard. This is totally false, unbecoming and ridiculous,” he said.
“At this crucial juncture where Indo-Naga talks are happening at the highest level, and when the PDA government is ensuring stability and peace in the state, I also request the responsible media fraternity to kindly authenticate any news before publishing it. Such irresponsible and doctored news will only create confusion among the Naga public and disturb peace in the state”, Patton added.
He suggested EastMojo to get the facts verified from the Naga political groups/leaders or from Zeliang.
Advisor to Prisons, Printing and Stationery and BJP legislature chief whip H Haying, who was also at the press conference, supported Patton’s assertions and clarifications. He asserted that people were resorting to use propaganda in order to disturb the strong relation between NDPP and BJP.
Zeliang also took to twitter to dismiss the report. “Why does media outlets (sic) keep reporting on hearsay and speculation arising out of insecurity of a section of people. Journalism ethics should be nurtured and practised. The EastMojo article about political development to topple the PDA in Nagaland is fictitious,” he wrote.
Nagaland BJP seeks clarification
The Nagaland BJP unit also denounced the report and expressed concern that ‘such irresponsible reports’ could even lead to ‘law and order situations’ in the state.
A statement from the party on Tuesday requested ‘news agencies to maintain credibility, thereby, exercise responsibility and proper authentication while reporting news.’
“If this trend of unauthenticated news reports continues, BJP Nagaland will be compelled to take any course of action for such irresponsible reports in future against any agency,” it stated.
The party demanded EastMojo and Eastwind to “come out in the open to clarify from which source they have heard about the supposed removal of Ram Madhav as National General Secretary and correlating it to a subsequent change in the leadership of BJP and Dy. Chief minister Y Patton in Nagaland too.”
It also demanded EastMojo to clarify on the reported meeting with Muivah on September 24 and “subsequent allegation on formation of a new government in Nagaland.”