Morung Express News | Dimapur | October 1 : Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister, Yanthungo Patton, who also holds Home portfolio, today denied reports that he along with former Chief Minister and present Leader of Opposition, TR Zeliang, were plotting to forge an alliance for a “change of guard.”
According to an online news portal, both Patton and Zeliang reportedly met NSCN (IM) leadership at Hebron Council HQs on September 24, raising speculations of the BJP and NPF forging an alliance to install a new government in the State.
Outrightly dismissing the report, the Deputy CM in a press conference in Dimapur today, termed the “rumours” in social media of possible change of guard as “totally false and never in my wildest dreams.”
The rumours are the handiwork of some political adversaries to create confusion in the minds of the people and create distrust in the PDA fabrics, he said.
“There is no logic in the statement as the State BJP leader has only Party Central leaders and High Command to consult and take instructions for any political move in the State governance. As such, no sensible person would believe in the fake and fabricated statement made in social media”, he added.
Patton also reminded that the BJP and NDPP alliance is a pre-poll agreement and the formation of PDA Government under the “dynamic leadership” of Neiphiu Rio is based on a “gentleman agreement,” which stands.
This agreement is rock solid till date with a commitment to complete the term successfully, he affirmed.
Terming the reported meeting with the NSCN (IM) leadership along with Zeliang as another figment of imagination, Patton asserted that they never went together to Hebron recently.
Patton went on to provide an alibi by stating that, on September 24, the date of the alleged meeting, he was in his office at the Nagaland Secretariat, performing his duties and holding public interviews.
While questioning the source of the report, Patton said: “Why should I disturb any Naga Political Group leaders for change of guard when they are seriously engaged in finding permanent peace and solution for the Nagas? I vehemently condemn this statement of unauthorized, unrealistic and defamatory in nature.”
He meanwhile urged for proper authentication of information, and asked the online news portal to “at least have the courtesy to publish my true whereabouts.” The Deputy CM stated that he would go at length to discover the source of the rumours and take legal recourse if need be.
Further, Patton appealed to the responsible media fraternity to authenticate such news as it “will only create confusion amongst the Naga public and disturb peace in the State.”
After the report broke on Monday night, leaders of the BJP and the NPF when contacted by The Morung Express had refused to neither confirm nor deny the validity of the report.
Patton meanwhile further questioned “what is wrong in it even if I meet any of the Naga Political Group leaders?”
“As State Home minister in charge, it is also my bounden duty and responsibility to meet and encourage them to expedite the prolonged Naga Political settlement in the interest of all the Naga people. There is absolutely no logic in it on my part or for that matter, for any of the legislators to meet our NPG leaders for change of guard. This is totally false, unbecoming and ridiculous. I dispel this rumour,” he added.
State BJP Chief Whip and Advisor, Prisons and Printing & Stationery, H Haiying who was also present in the press conference said the State BJP is fully committed to the pre-poll alliance with NDPP and ensure that the PDA government lasts its full term. Haiying also attested Patton’s September 24 alibi.
BJP President, Zeliang quash ‘rumours’
State BJP President and Minister of Higher & Technical Education & Tribal Affairs, Imna Along also took to Twitter to quash the rumour and posted: “This is a propaganda again. State BJP President with all ranks and files of the party & BLP Leader Dy. Chief Minister, all Ministers, Advisers stands with PD Alliance.”
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition, Zeliang in a tweet also termed the report was “fictitious”.