Reacting to the statements published in the local dailies following BJP MLA, Mmhonlumo’s removal as parliamentary secretary, Home minister Y. Patton, while defending chief minister’s action, said “my Lotha brethrens have seems to have given undue importance to media reports rather than actual facts when they assumed” Mmhonlumo was sacked due to the PIL filed by the Lotha Hoho in connection with the Petroleum & Natural Gas Policy of the Government of Nagaland.
In a press note, Patton said the allegations that the government forcibly imposed 144 Cr.PC with the sole intention of launching the oil exploration, was far from the truth. “With due respects to the Lotha Hoho, when the landowners, namely, the villages of Champang and Tssori, and the Lotha Lower Public Organisation, are willing to go ahead with the oil exploration and have already signed an MoU with the MOGPL, it may not be quite proper for the apex Lotha tribal body to go against the decision of the actual land owners,” Patton stated.
He further said that the government was in no way trying its best, as alleged by some, to let the Lotha Hoho withdraw the PIL.
On Mmhonlumo’s sacking, Patton said he would be the last person to question the decision of the chief minister, saying it was the prerogative of the CM to induct or drop anyone from the ministry. In this regard, Patton said it would be very unfair if the dropping of MLA Mmhonlumo Kikon is taken on tribal lines, or made into a tribal issue.