Nagaland Home Minister, Y Patton, has denied the charges of BJP Bhandari unit that he had violated the election Model Code of Conduct (MCC) while in Bhandari on January 26, 2017.
On Thursday, in the complaint letter to the State Election Commission, BJP Bhandari unit president, Nyamo Odyuo, alleged that alleged that the home minister after attending the Republic Day function at Bhandari attended a “political party meeting of at the NPF office, Bhandari” and allegedly wooed voters for jobs in the police department.
In a press release, Hachio Patton, PS to home minister, clarified that the minister had at no point in time wooed any voters for a job in police department or in any government sector. Hachio said it was “a very serious allegation” tantamount to tarnishing of the minister’s personal image and defamation of the official status that he held.
In this regard, Hachio has asked the BJP Bhandari unit president to immediately clarify his statement with “substantial evidence” or apologize in public domain. He stated that the minister reserved the right to initiate legal action both civil and criminal in the appropriate court of law.
According to Hachio, the home minister after completing the Republic Day celebrations joined state lunch hosted by ADC Bhandari along with his entourage. Later in the day, Hachio said the minister met NPF party workers and functionaries at NPF Bhandari unit office for a short time they since wanted to meet him.
At brief meeting, Hachio said the minister had only highlighted the gatherings comprising of NPF loyalists and some common people of Bhandari area about NPF-led DAN government’s generosity for granting town council status to Bhandari. The minister also urged the people to acknowledge the government for the kind gesture by participating in the ensuing ULB elections, he said.
Maintaining that minister’s meeting with them was only after the completion of official functions, Hachio said the home minister had never combined party meeting with state official programme, adding that the question of violating MCC did not arise.
NPF Wka division: Naga People’s Front (NPF) Wokha division and its frontal units have also strongly refuted BJP Bhandari unit president, Nyamo Odyuo’s statement. In a press release, NPF Wokha division general secretary, Ekonthung Kikon, also said that at no point in time the minister wooed the voters with jobs in police department.
Further, NPF Wokha division said meeting loyal party men and women in the later part of the day in no way violated Election Model Code of Conduct (MCC).
Strongly condemning what it described as “thoughtless statement” of Nyamo Odyuo, the NPF Wokha division has urged him to apologise or retract his statement immediately as it tantamount to misleading of the public and defamation of the minister.
NPF 40 Bhandari A/C has strongly condemned the allegations of BJP Bhandari unit president Nyamo Odyuo levelled against home minister Y. Patton of violating election Model Code of Conduct (MCC) while in Bhandari.
In a joint statement, NPF 40 Bhandari A/C unit president, Khonthungya Odyuo along with presidents of the youth wing, Thungbemo Ennio; farmers wing, Thungdemo Kikon; women wing, Lucy Kikon; and president 40 Bhandari unit A/C, Elhibamo Shitri refuted the allegation and termed it as false and baseless, that Y. Patton had wooed voters to vote for NPF in exchange of appointment in police department.
In fact, the unit said Nyamo Odyuo’s statement was nothing but an attempt to malign and tarnish the good image of the Home minister at the same time demeaning the image of the BJP as a national party.
The unit made it clear that the minister never uttered even a word for appointment in the police department as alleged by Odyuo.
They said there was no question of violating the MCC since Patton attended the meeting organised by NPF 40 Bhandari A/C only after completing the official programme of the Republic Day.
It further reminded the BJP that there was no question of violating MCC, since there was no provision in the MCC, issued by State Election Commission, that a minister or candidate cannot hold public meeting in any state or national events including Republic Day.
During the course of meeting, they said Patton appraised the gathering about the ongoing Urban Local Bodies (ULB) election wherein he also emphasised that Bhandari town citizen should be grateful to the present government for granting the Town Council status.
For this, NPF unit said the citizens of Bhandari town needed to acknowledge and reciprocate by taking part in the Town Council polls.
While not denying that the meeting was organised by NPF 40 Bhandari A/C, the unit said that the gathering was attended by public leaders of Bhandari Town and senior citizens who were not affiliated to NPF in any manner, and could be as witness to the speech made by Patton.
It further reminded BJP that the party had sufficient evidence (audio and visual of January 26 programme at NPF office Bhandari) to prove the speech of Patton.
On that day, they said the party rather wanted to have an audience with the minister right after the meeting. However, due his busy schedule he had to hurriedly leave for Dimapur without meeting anyone.
The question of assuring any person either privately or publicly to give job, if they vote for NPF during the ensuing ULB election was false, NPF unit stated.
In this regard, NPF 40 Bhandari A/C has demanded Nyamo Odyuo to tender unconditional apology to Home minister and to the office of NPF 40 Bhandari A/C immediately. Immediately.